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What is 4K?
4K, sometimes referred to as Ultra HD or UHD, is the display of at least 8 Million pixels, or 4 times more pixels than regular HDTV (1080p)! 4K has a standard resolution of 4096 x 2160 and has now become the standard as Ultra HD (until 8K of course!).
Benefits of 4K
There are many benefits to 4K imaging, some are listed below:
• Enhanced Digital Signage
• Greater Clarity on Large Commercial Displays
• Higher rendering Graphics for computer designers
• Seamless Video regardless of display size
• No Pixilation, even up close
• Up-scalable content, TV broadcasts and Blu-ray Players
• Smoother scene transitions, and on screen movement
To really appreciate 4K, you have to see it in person.The picture is just incredible!
Do All 4K Products Give You a Full 4K UHD Picture?
No and here’s why in short. The first thing to understand is there are multiple variables in play when discussing 4K and resolution is only one of them:
Resolution: The number of horizontal and vertical pixels on a screen (for example: 4,096 x 2,160)
• Frame Rate: The number of frames displayed every second (usually expressed in fps or “frames per second”. For example: 24fps, 50fps or 60fps
• Color Sampling: The reduction of color resolution to save bandwidth. (Expressed as 4:2:0 or 4:4:4)
Color Bit Depth: The maximum number of colors that can be displayed, usually expressed as 8 bit, 10bit or 12 bit color depth.
Back in 2009, HDMI 1.4 paved the way for 4K but only at up to 30 frames per second (fps), a compressed color sampling rate of 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 and a maximum bandwidth speed of 10.2Gbps. So while some devices are rated 4K, they really only meet the HDMI 1.4 specification (10.2Gbps). So how do they achieve 4K status? The answer is by compressing the color space down to 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 which then in turn lowers the data rate to approximately 50%. However HDMI 2.0, released in late 2013, changed that and increased the specification to 4K at 60 frames per second, an uncompressed color sampling rate of 4-4-4 and the full 18Gps data speed to support it. In other words, full 4K or 4K “All The Way”. So when shopping for 4K products, be sure to look at the specifications closely for the products that best suit your needs both today and in the future.
What is HDCP 2.2 and do I need it for 4K content? Yes. 4K content protection requires the HDCP 2.2 protocol, and it is not backwards compatible. Your current devices will work with HDCP 2.2 displays, as long as you're not trying to send 4K UHD content. For example , your current Blu-ray player will be able to send 1080p to a HDCP 2.2 display or receiver with no issues. If you're planning distributing and displaying 4K UHD content, every HDMI unit in the chain will need to support HDCP 2.2. So it is a good idea to make sure that all of your future HDMI equipment purchases support HDCP 2.2 to ensure it will work and to help make it “future proof”.
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