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Resolution of a conventional TV

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High Definition Television (HDTV) is a digital image technology capable of delivering a “photographic” quality image on a monitor or television display. Are you not sure if you watch TV in HD quality? Read this article.

  1. 1 Check your TV or monitor type. An HDTV signal can only be displayed on an HD monitor or TV. A modern HDTV TV consists of a display capable of reflecting a high-resolution image and a built-in digital tuner that supports signal reception in HDTV format. The monitor is different in that it does not have a built-in tuner. A monitor or high-definition television is capable of displaying at least 720 lines, but many are capable of displaying 1080 lines, while standard definition (SD) television is transmitted in a resolution of only 480 lines. Another characteristic of resolution is a scan, which can be progressive or interlaced (this will be discussed later). The most common display types are 480i, 480P, 720P, 1080i, and 1080P. Displays with a resolution of 480i or standard resolution (SD), 480P - displays enhanced resolution (ED), the remaining types - displays high resolution (HD or High Definition).

  • This label shows the differences between the most common types of display resolutions. The values ​​from top to bottom are the "vertical" resolution of the displays. The values ​​at the top are also resolution, but horizontal, it’s about him that we hear in TV ads. "PAL" is a standard television resolution, mainly used in Russia and European countries. NTSC is the standard television resolution used in the USA, also having a 4: 3 aspect ratio or standard. The rest of the resolutions (except for PAL, of course) have an aspect ratio of 16: 9 or "widescreen , whether it’s 720P, 1080P or 1080i.
  • 2 Progressive or interlaced? Letter i after the numbers 480 and 1080 means the old interlaced scan, and P after the numbers 480, 720 and 1080 means a new, progressive scan. The concept of "sweep" describes how the image is "drawn" on the display. The numbers 480, 720 and 1080 indicate the number of horizontal lines of the display. An interlaced display first draws odd lines (1, 3, 5, 7, etc.), starting from the upper left corner of the display to the lower right. At the end, the process is repeated for even lines (2, 4, 6, 8, etc.), and so on, until the display is turned off. With progressive scan, lines are drawn in sequential order (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.). Most people prefer progressive displays because they look better than interlaced displays. Displays with a resolution of 480 and 1080 lines can be both interlaced and progressive, and displays with a resolution of 720 lines can only be progressive.
  • 3 Which connector? HD monitors (and most HD TVs) have a wide range of connectors, such as:
    • HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) - A connector and cable that allows you to transmit high-resolution digital video data and multi-channel digital audio signals.
    • DVI - Digital Visual Interface - connector and cable designed for transmission video only, including HD.
    • Vga - V> Check a source. Since the monitor can only show the received signal, a separate tuner and an HF / UHF antenna are required to receive the TV signal. HD TVs have a built-in tuner, so a separate tuner is not needed (except if you plan to watch channels in a standard that is not supported by the built-in tuner). Like a monitor with a tuner, an HD TV also needs an RF / UHF antenna.
      • Instead of UHF / HF, you can use a connection to a satellite or cable TV provider. These providers provide high-quality HD tuners so you can watch HD images. Standard tuners usually only support standard definition television and do not show HD signal.
      • Check out the video player. In 2008, the “war of video formats” between HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disk (like the war between BetaMax and VHS video cassette technologies a couple of decades ago) ended, as a result of which Blu-ray Disc became a recognized standard. Both formats support HD images, but the production of HD-DVD players and discs has been scaled down. It should be noted that both HD-DVD and Blu-ray provide "backward compatibility" with the older DVD format. That is, players of these standards can play DVDs. Unfortunately, neither "DVD", nor even "VHS" cassettes, do not support video in HD quality. And finally, the S-VHS format ("Super" VHS, not to be confused with S-V>Check cable. Even with the right equipment, an HD picture may not work if you use the wrong connectors and cables. To connect devices, use the connectors and cables HDMI, DVI, VGA or RGB. This will provide a high-resolution signal to a TV, monitor or display. If the source or video player can output an HD signal and the TV is capable of showing HD images, DO NOT use the composite connector and cable. Do not connect 2 devices to one HDTV connector (only 1 device should be connected to the “Input 1” connector, another device to the “Input 2”, etc.)
      • 6 Set up your devices for optimal display performance. Follow the instructions for the TV and other devices (Blue-Ray, satellite tuner, etc.) to select the appropriate input (connector) Check the maximum resolution supported by the TV and source. If your HD TV supports resolutions up to 720P, do not set the resolution higher than 720P. Similarly, with a resolution of 1080i and 1080P. Many TVs artificially lower the resolution to the level supported by the TV, but as a result of processing, the image may deteriorate a little. The goal is not to limit the resolution that the source can give below 480P (progressive scan DVD players), 720P or 1080i (for cable and satellite TV, HD-DVD players) and 1080P (Blu-ray Disc players and some satellite receivers), unless, of course, this resolution does not exceed the capabilities of the TV.
      • 7 Compare. By setting up an image source or a pair of TV channels in standard definition (SD), you can already determine what type of signal you are watching. Direct studio and sports broadcasts in HD quality are a great option to see and compare details that you don't pay attention to at first. Male, individual blades of grass on the sports field and other images of photographic quality that seem three-dimensional - a typical example of an HD image. The image in standard resolution, in comparison with HD, will appear "muffled" or blurry - as if a thin layer of jelly is smeared on the screen.
      • TV Resolution

        Screen resolution is a very important feature of the TV. Manufacturers are investing heavily in the development of high-resolution screens. Such developments are expensive and not all TV manufacturers are manufacturers of LCD matrices. Many of them buy screens from companies that have been manufacturing LCD matrices for a long time, and then use them on their TVs.

        For the normal operation of broadcasting in different regions and, accordingly, the ability to sell their TVs in different countries, manufacturers are required to coordinate their developments in the field of increasing screen resolution. Therefore, international organizations have agreed on various developments in the field of high-definition television, and today there are several standards that everyone adheres to.

        Resolution Formats

        Today, international organizations such as the American ATSC, European ETSI, have set the standards for the distribution of high-definition television. And TV manufacturers have introduced these standards into television sets for compatibility with all regions. Now the main standards are:

        1. 1) 720p. Resolution 1280x720 pixels, progressive scan, frame rate can be 50 or 60 Hz, frame format 16: 9.
        2. 2) 1080i. Resolution 1920x1080 pixels, interlaced, 16: 9 aspect ratio, 50 or 60 half-frames per second, which corresponds to 25 or 30 frames.
        3. 3) 1080p. Resolution 1920 × 1080 pixels (2.07 megapixels), progressive scan, aspect ratio 16: 9, frame rate 24, 25, 30, 50, 60 Hz.
        4. 4) 2160p. Resolution 3840x2160 pixels (8.8 megapixels).

        Difference in standards

        The desire to get the best quality signal on the TV when transmitting to a distance has led to the emergence of various standards for the decomposition of the signal in different countries. The main characteristics of signal decomposition are the number of lines, frame rate and type of frame scan.

        The main television transmission standards are European PAL and SECAM, as well as the American NTSC system. 625 lines are used in European systems, and 525 lines in American systems. These standards were invented at the beginning of the era of CRT televisions, and this fact must be taken into account. For example, the number of lines 625 is not fully used to form the image on the kinescope screen. Indeed, in the system of deflection coils, it is necessary to provide time for the reverse movement of the beam, and therefore only 576 lines were actually used to form the visible frame. It is this number that is shown in the resolution of the digital television screen 720x576.

        The frame rate in old TVs was selected depending on the frequency of the current in the power supply network. For Europe, 50 Hz, and for America, 60 Hz. With this choice, it’s easier to build TV scan generators.

        All these restrictions on decomposition standards exist today, because you have to realize the compatibility of old and new TVs. But for digital devices (LCD and OLED), such restrictions are not needed due to their design features. And the new standard of high-definition television HDTV uses only digital signal transmission and it does not need to use lines for service pulses, therefore, how many lines are indicated in the name of the standard so much and forms a picture on the screen. This signal decomposition standard contains 720 or 1080 lines, a frame rate of 50 or 60 Hz, the scan type can be interlaced or progressive.

        When designating a standard, a record is used where the number of signal lines is indicated, the scan type is progressive (“p”) or interlaced (“i”), the frame frequency can be indicated through a slash. Progressive scan means that all lines of the image are written to the screen at the same time, and interlaced scanning means that even lines are updated first, and odd lines are updated in another half-frame. Progressive scan is better, it is mainly used today.

        For the entire period of television development, the following types of television signal decomposition were used:

        • LDTV - low-definition television (240p, 288p),
        • SDTV - standard definition television (480i - NTSC, 576i - PAL),
        • EDTV - high-definition television (480p, 576p, 720p),
        • HDTV - high definition television (1080i, 1080p),
        • 4K UHDTV - ultra-high definition television (2160r).
        • 8K UHDTV - ultra-high definition television (4320r).

        The beginning of high definition television

        Developments in the field of increasing the resolution of television pictures appeared with the introduction of electronic signal processing methods. And this happened back in the 30s of the last century. Then they refused mechanical scanning, and it became possible to increase the number of lines on the screen. But on an industrial scale, the development of high definition television (HDTV) began with the introduction of widescreen cinema.

        This happened in the 1950s, when television developed at a rapid pace and, fearing competition, the film industry switched to large-format films for its protection, because they are more convenient to watch in a movie theater. Such films were poorly displayed on simple kinescope television screens, and then, television manufacturers began to develop high-definition television, which could perfectly transmit a wide format to television screens.

        But at that time, development stopped due to the need to use kinescope screens with a large diagonal. The production of such displays for the mass buyer was not economically viable. And only with the development of technology for liquid crystal and plasma screens in 2000, it became possible to practically apply the developments in the field of high-definition television (HDTV).

        To implement the HDTV, we developed transmitters and receivers, created high-resolution screens, developed HD DVD and Blu-Ray media, and HDMI and DVI-D data transfer interfaces. According to the standard adopted in Russia, high-definition television includes 16: 9 wide-format image signals with a resolution of 1920 × 1080. If the frame has a 4: 3 ratio, then the resolution will be 1536x1152 pixels. So the HDTV standard appeared.

        Steps Edit

        Check your TV or monitor type. An HDTV signal can only be displayed on an HD monitor or TV. A modern HDTV TV consists of a display capable of reflecting a high-resolution image and a built-in digital tuner that supports signal reception in HDTV format. The monitor is different in that it does not have a built-in tuner. A monitor or high-definition television is capable of displaying at least 720 lines, but many are capable of displaying 1080 lines, while standard definition (SD) television is transmitted in a resolution of only 480 lines. Another characteristic of resolution is a scan, which can be progressive or interlaced (this will be discussed later). The most common display types are 480i, 480P, 720P, 1080i, and 1080P. Displays with a resolution of 480i or standard resolution (SD), 480P - displays enhanced resolution (ED), the remaining types - displays high resolution (HD or High Definition).

        This label shows the differences between the most common types of display resolutions. Values ​​from top right to bottom - “vertical” resolution displays. The values ​​at the top are also resolution, but horizontal, it’s about him that we hear in TV ads. “PAL” is a standard television resolution, mainly used in Russia and European countries. NTSC is the standard television resolution used in the USA, also having a 4: 3 aspect ratio or standard. Other resolutions (except for PAL, of course) have an aspect ratio of 16: 9 or ‘widescreen , whether it’s 720P, 1080P or 1080i.

        Why is 4K TV for home a bad idea?

        Over the past few years, television technology has changed a lot. At least, manufacturers subtly hint that changes are inevitable: ultra-thin, curved, huge and with ultra-fine 4K resolution - these are the main trends of 2014. And this is how this segment of technology will develop in the next few years.

        No one has the right to forbid you to buy a 152-inch TV, or any curved OLED TV. In the form, as in the format, the choice will depend on you. Just do not rush to follow the lead of advertisers and acquire 4K models.

        What is 4K? In a nutshell, this is the highest resolution that can only be found on the electronics market today - 4096 × 2160 pixels. Prior to that, the 1080p format was considered the reference, i.e. 1920x1080 pixels.

        Yes, the larger the diagonal of the screen, the greater should be its resolution. Otherwise, the picture will be at least fuzzy. However, in the case of TV models for home use, something needs to be clarified.

        Most modern TVs have 720p and 1080p resolution (1280 × 720 pixels and 1920 × 1080 pixels, respectively). For panels with a diagonal of up to 50 inches, 720p will be enough, and 1080p is the current resolution for TVs up to 80 inches. Given the distance to the TV from the viewing point, in 4K format for the home there is not the slightest sense. And that's why.

        The fact is that the possibilities of the human eye are not unlimited. So, if you hold your hands in front of you, you will probably be able to see hairs on the forearm or skin texture on the phalanges of the fingers. However, it is not possible to discern the same details on the hand of your colleague sitting 3-5 meters from you.

        Each television screen consists of pixels. If you look closely, you can see a breakdown into squares on the display - these are pixels. Get 10 steps away from the TV. Are the pixels visible now? With a 99.9% chance, your answer will be no.

        If the distance from the sofa in your living room to the installation site of the TV panel is 3 meters, it makes no sense to buy even a 1080p model - a picture on a 720p screen from this distance will seem perfect to you.

        To appreciate all the charms of 1080p resolution, the diagonal of the display should be at least 77 inches! If the distance to the TV is less than 3 meters, we can talk about the size of the 1080p panel in 60 inches.

        The difference between 4K and 1080p will be noticeable if the diagonal of the display is about 80 inches, and the minimum distance to the panel is 2.5 meters. Now mentally return to your living room: do you need such a whopper and at what distance from TV will you watch evening news releases?

        If a format of 50 inches or more suits you and you are sure that you see pixels on a 1080p display even from a 10-meter distance, there is something else you need to know about 4K:

        • Сегодня большинство телевизионных каналов передают картинку даже не в 1080р, а в 720р, т.е. высокую чёткость изображения, коим потенциально обладает 4К панель, при просмотре российского телевиденья пока что вы оценить не сможете. И пройдут не месяцы, а годы, пока техника будет модернизирована под 4К формат, ведь изменить нужно всё — от видеокамер до ретрансляторов.

        • В Интернете 4К контента также раз-два и обчёлся. That is, even streaming television can not yet reveal all the capabilities of 4K.

        • 4K panels are more expensive than their 1080p counterparts. Usually, we are talking about $ 150-200 (for example, a Samsung 4K UE-55HU8500 4K TV costs about 85 thousand, and a Samsung UE-55H8000 similar in format and functionality to a 1080p TV costs 75 thousand rubles).

        What 4K can really come in handy today is in gaming. If you intend to use a 4K TV for games, then excellent viewing angles and high resolution will play a role: the close distance to the panel will not degrade the image quality, and the amazing clarity and high frame rate will allow you to fully enjoy the gameplay. However, there is one thing here: for now, neither the Xbox One nor the PS4 4K format are supported, so you have to be content only with streaming games, which, by the way, are also not so many.

        Can I watch 3D video on a conventional TV

        Nowadays, three-dimensional image technology is no longer news, but still not everyone can afford to buy an expensive 3D TV, which will fully experience all the charms and advantages of a high-quality three-dimensional image. In this regard, many have a question - is it possible to watch 3D on a conventional TV?

        1. So, is it possible to watch 3D on a conventional TV

        Immediately it is worth noting that to watch 3D movies, the TV must meet certain requirements, without which three-dimensional effects are simply impossible. Depending on 3D technology, the TV must meet the following requirements.

      • Screen refresh rate. For comfortable viewing of volumetric images, this parameter must be at least 120 Hz,
      • Screen resolution,
      • The presence of additional accessories.

        So, watching 3D on a regular TV is quite possible, but the TV should have a fairly high resolution and refresh rate.

        Further, the brain combines the obtained data and designs a three-dimensional image.

        It is worth noting that today there are two 3D technologies:

        So in the first case, 3D display on a conventional TV is impossible, since for this the TV itself must be equipped with a special infrared sensor that sends signals to the corresponding 3D glasses that receive these signals and alternately close special shutters on the left and right lenses.

        But in the case of passive technology of three-dimensional image, it is quite possible to use a conventional TV, the main thing is that it should have a sufficiently high resolution. However, for viewing 3D on a simple TV, you still need special glasses. It is worth noting that you will have to look for a disc or download a 3D movie from any resource on the Internet, since the 3D effect can be achieved only if special glasses and video are available.

        2. How to watch 3D movies on a conventional TV

        As mentioned above, for this you will need special glasses and a special film that can be played from a computer by connecting it to a TV or burning to a flash drive. You can also use other sources, such as special players, various multimedia devices that can play video and audio. Also, portable hard drives can be used as a source.

        However, it is worth noting that to connect the TV to a PC or other devices, the TV itself must have appropriate connectors. These may be the following interfaces:

        The HDMI and DVI connectors are digital interfaces that make it possible to watch 3D on a conventional TV through a computer. To do this, you will need to download a 3D movie, buy the appropriate glasses and connect the TV to a PC.

        2.1. What is the difference between a 3D TV and an ordinary

        Now you know how to watch 3D movies on a regular TV. However, it is worthwhile to understand that if you use a conventional TV to display 3D pictures, you will not be able to achieve high image quality that can compare with the picture displayed by a 3D TV. Therefore, if you want to fully experience all the advantages of a three-dimensional image, it is best to purchase a specialized TV.

        External inspection upon purchase

        First, check the packaging for various damage (dents, gusts), if during transportation there were all kinds of blows to the packaging, then the TV got it. Then check the availability of all correctly completed documents, such as a passport for the device, a warranty card. The coupon must be correctly filled out by the seller (warranty period, date of sale, seal), the serial number on the coupon must match the number on the TV.

        Check the external condition of the TV and remote control. Look for scuffs, chips, cracks, etc. The screws on the back of the TV should not be tamper-evident, otherwise your TV was already on sale and under repair.

        By the name of the model, serial number and product code, you can find out where and when this TV is made and for which country.

        Even more detailed information such as operating hours, the number of inclusions can be found in the service menu. But it’s best not to enter this menu yourself if you don’t know what it is. It is intended for professionals and the store is not required to include it. Incorrect operation of the service menu can lead to complete inoperability of the TV. To enter this menu you need to enter a certain set of characters, which depends on the brand and model of the device.

        After that, you can turn on the TV and check its operation, the correct operation of the remote control, work with external sources (USB flash drives, players, etc.). You can take your flash drive by pre-recording high-resolution videos on it, and pictures for checking for broken pixels.

        Check for broken pixels

        When forming a picture on the TV screen, all pixels of the display should be involved. With the resolution of the Full HD screen, the entire display field consists of 1920 × 1080 pixels, which is just over 2 million pixels.

        According to the rules, a certain number of non-working pixels is allowed, different standards allow a different number of defective pixels. So, having determined at home this defect in the form of one or two broken pixels, you will not be able to return the TV back, so it is better to do this check before buying.

        To search for defective pixels, you need to submit an image with a certain picture to the screen and examine the screen at close range. You can use a magnifying glass. You need to look for a pixel that does not glow in the color that everyone else has. The resolution image should exactly match the screen resolution.

        Completely inactive pixels, those that do not respond to the signal and are in a constant position, can be detected in a uniform picture (filled with one color). Alternately, white, black and primary colors (red, blue, green) are displayed on the screen and the pixels of a different color are searched on them.

        Broken pixel on black background Disabled sub-pixel on screen

        There are defective pixels that start to work poorly when the matrix is ​​heated. You can identify them after the TV has worked for some time.

        There are pixels that do not work properly depending on the operation of neighboring sub-pixels. You can detect such defects if you submit a picture in the form of a chessboard fill, color bars, gradations, and a grid to the screen. Incorrectly working pixels will stand out from the overall structure of the picture.

        The necessary pictures for checking the image on the TV can be downloaded here. Resolution of verification images is 1920x1080 pixels.

        To test Ultra HD 4K TVs, test images are here.

        How to use the image data can be read here.

        Inhomogeneous screen illumination

        When applying a video signal with a uniform color fill (painted with one color) to the TV input, this color should be on the screen without any color shades. But, due to the technological features of manufacturing displays with LED backlight, such a uniform illumination is difficult to achieve. Therefore, it is advisable to check the uniformity of the color field before purchase. Typically, such a defect is not considered a breakdown and the TV cannot be returned or repaired.

        Such screen defects are called banding, light and tint.

        The tint can be translated as “color tone” and it shows how correctly the white color is displayed on the screen. When watching a regular video, you may not see this defect, because the picture is constantly changing there. But if the picture is static, then the interference can be very noticeable and interfere with normal viewing.

        To identify a tint, you need to display a white or gray field on the screen. Interference in the form of stripes, spots and other shapes, painted in a different tone, against a uniform background may indicate the presence of a tint defect. Such interference is usually pink or greenish and is closer to the edges of the screen.

        If the defect is very noticeable, it is better to choose a different TV.

        The tint is large and clearly visible. Allowable noise level tint

        Banding on the screen appears in the form of stripes of a different shade. When watching ordinary TV shows, it will be noticeable in homogeneous areas when moving the camera. To identify this defect in the store, feed a uniform field of any color (gray, green, purple) from the flash drive to the screen.

        Invalid banding level

        Highlights can only be on LED TVs. To assess the quality of the display by the level of light, you need to do this in a completely dark room (turn off the light and curtain the windows). At the same time, you need to select the maximum backlight level on the TV, for this you can select the appropriate mode (it can be called "bright", "dynamic" or in another way). You need to turn off the modes that improve the image, such as dynamic backlight, black level adjustment, eco-sensor and others. This is done so that the TV does not adjust the backlight when checking.

        But even so, errors may occur due to the automation of the television receiver, when applying a completely black frame. After all, with a black picture, the TV turns off the backlight. Therefore, to detect flare, it is better to file a black picture with some bright elements, for example, white captions on a black background at the end of the film.

        Then from a distance, look at the presence of screen glare, especially in the corners. Some minimal flashes are quite acceptable for normal viewing.

        Invalid light level

        It is unlikely that it will be possible to find an LED TV completely without these defects (tint, banding, light), but you need to choose a model with a minimum level of this interference.

        Define a budget

        Before buying something, you need to clearly answer your question: “How much money can I spend on this?”.

        TVs belong to the category of technology where the price is practically unlimited from above. There are more than worthy models for 20 thousand rubles, and there are six and a half million.

        How do you like a TV that costs more than the new 420-horsepower Porsche Cayenne S? The best in such models is the comments and reviews of “customers”.

        Sold an apartment in Moscow, bought a TV! I live in a box from under it, enjoy the 4K format! Everything is super, I advise!

        I bought four TVs in the room instead of wallpaper. Everything is beautiful, you can choose the area. Of the minuses, only that you can’t leave the room, because there are no doors on the TV. Help to leave the room.

        It is unfortunate that the kit does not include a person who will praise your choice during the warranty period.

        But seriously, the combination of the uncertainty of acceptable expenses, a lack of knowledge on the topic and some tricks of sellers that provoke a person to buy and dull his sanity is a real risk of losing a large sum or getting a loan.

        Determine the dimensions

        “Now I’ll buy, and I’ll think of something with the placement” is a very bad way to think before purchasing any large-sized goods.

        With a high probability you will want to place a freshly bought TV in an existing environment. It can be a separate bedside table, headset or wall mount.

        1. If the TV turns out to be noticeably narrower or wider than the nightstand, then such a design will look very poor.
        2. An overly large TV will simply not fit into the headset wall, and this will become a big problem.

        Mounting on the wall gives more freedom, but there are some limiting factors.

        There is such a thing as the optimal distance for viewing. It is generally accepted that these are 3-4 TV diagonals.

        Let's say the diagonal is 40 inches. An inch is 2.54 centimeters. 40 inches is 106.2 centimeters, that is, it is supposed to watch TV from at least three meters. Will it be possible to apply this rule in your house or apartment? Not? It's okay, because the optimal distance is a rather arbitrary parameter.

        It is much better to preliminarily measure the distance from which you will watch your future television and evaluate the candidates for purchase at such a distance. You yourself will understand which diagonal of the screen is optimal for you.

        A screen that is too large will not allow you to cover the whole picture, your eyes will run around the image, trying to examine the details on the periphery, and quickly get tired.

        Too small a screen will not work either. You realize that you do not see small details, and in general there will be no cinema effect of the presence that a person expects to receive from a modern widescreen TV.

        Come for a TV with a tape measure - this is normal.

        Optimal resolution

        Resolution is the number of pixels that make up the screen.

        Now the standard in the industry is de facto Full HD displays, in which the image consists of 1 920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically, but the advertisement is actively promoting 4K TVs, beautifully talking about the charms and advantages of this technology over the "outdated" Full HD

        The 4K screen usually consists of 3,840 pixels horizontally and 2,160 pixels vertically.

        It turns out that in such a display four times as many pixels.

        The more pixels, the sharper the image can give the screen. Is it logical? Is logical.

        So, 4K TVs provide four times more clear image. Is it logical? Not.

        Marketing uncles are silent about two very important things:

        1. 4K TV needs 4K content.
        2. The human eye is rather limited in its perception of sharpness at a distance.

        The first feature is easy to demonstrate with any picture.

        Here is the Lifehacker logo in a resolution of 150 by 150 pixels. Suppose this icon is created for viewing in Full HD.

        But the Lifehacker logo in the resolution of 300 by 300 pixels. Suppose it is made for viewing in 4K.

        The difference in detail is palpable, right?

        Question: what will happen if you do not have an icon in the resolution for 4K, but only for Full HD? That's right, the TV will try to stretch the image to fill the screen. Take a close look at what the 150 by 150 pixels icon looks like if you stretch it to 300 by 300 pixels.

        See? The image is clearly getting worse.

        For comparison, look at the normal 300 by 300 pixel logo, to the right of which is a logo with an initial size of 150 by 150, stretched to 300 by 300 pixels.

        The difference in quality is obvious.

        Almost the same thing happens on a 4K TV screen when you run Full HD and even lower quality content on it.

        In a real situation, the difference will be less noticeable thanks to the so-called upscaling - image stretching, in which special algorithms try to neutralize related defects. It turns out better, but it still can not be compared with the quality of real 4K content.

        Even in 2017, 4K content is very small. The vast majority of films and programs are provided in Full HD or HD.

        The second factor, due to the limitations of the human eye, is even easier to demonstrate.

        Look again at the normal and stretched logos.

        Now slowly move away from the monitor.

        The farther your eyes are from the screen, the less noticeable the difference. From a certain distance, both icons will become almost indistinguishable to you.

        When Steve Jobs showed the world iPhone 4 - the world's first smartphone with a Retina-screen, he meant that the pixels on the display of this device are so small that the eye does not see them from a typical distance for working with a mobile phone.

        Human vision is actually not so sharp. For each screen, there is a distance from which the pixels of which it consists cease to be distinguishable. The larger the pixel, the greater the distance.

        You can use the Lifehacker Retina calculator to independently calculate the pixel indistinguishability distance for any of your gadgets.

        The paradox is that on a Full-HD TV with a diagonal of 40 inches (106 centimeters), pixels cease to be visible from a distance of 160 centimeters, and the recommended minimum distance for comfortable viewing for it is 300 centimeters. The advantage of 4K will appear only when you sit in front of the same screen in 80-150 centimeters, but who will do it and why?

        Full HD already delivers over definition.

        Why, then, are they so actively advertising 4K? На самом деле эта технология нужна, но только дизайнерам и прочим специалистам, которым важно правильно видеть мельчайшие детали с близкого расстояния на мониторе, а вот всё остальное — это маркетинговая необходимость, которая существует и работает исключительно благодаря необразованности потребителей.

        Подумайте сами, что ещё делать производителю телевизоров, когда вокруг десятки таких же компаний с такими же продуктами? Конечно, изобретать что-то новое, то, что выделит его из болота сделанных под копирку телеклонов. Такая инновация не обязательно должна быть полезной для пользователя. Главное — сам факт наличия чего-то особенного, а уж пиарщики придумают всё как надо.

        Competitors, in order to keep up with consumers, have to repeat such essentially useless innovations, but as a bonus, manufacturers are able to significantly raise prices. New technologies!

        Frequency - this is measured in hertz the number of updates on the screen in one second. 60 Hz means that in one second the image can be updated 60 times.

        It is believed that the image refresh rate above 60 Hz is not captured by humans. But to view 3D content with 60 fps, when you need to show frames for the left and right eyes in turn, you need a 120 Hz TV.

        Higher frequencies, whether 240 Hz or 100 500 Hz, are another marketing noodle.

        Matrix type

        In fact, the only matrix technology called LEDs is currently dominating the matrix market, on the basis of which the vast majority of displays are created. That is, the screens of all TVs are approximately the same.

        Only the type of matrix is ​​important, and it will be either LED, or AMOLED, which is actively promoted now.

        AMOLED is also called organic matrices. Distinguishing LED-TV from AMOLED-TV is very simple for the price. The second with the same diagonal and other parameters will cost much more.

        At the level of perception, the AMOLED screen outperforms LED only in one, but very important property: it is able to show you the true black color.

        The main problem of LEDs is the reliability of the black display. The entire screen area is highlighted, regardless of the color of individual pixels, and black, as we know from the initial course of physics, is not light, but the absence of light. As a result, black turns into some kind of gray, which is especially annoying in dark films and scenes.

        AMOLED works differently. In the organic matrix, each pixel glows independently, and when you need to show black, the diode simply turns off, becoming truly black.

        Left - LED, right - AMOLED

        More AMOLED displays are credited with high “juiciness”, but often it gives the opposite effect. Colors seem unnatural, acidic. Not everyone likes to look at such a picture. But when sunlight enters the room, the contents of the organic screen are hardly visible at all.

        The unreasonably high price of AMOLED does not allow calling this technology competitive. Buy a regular LED-TV, and you will not lose.

        Color gamut

        As mentioned above, screens are now using the same technology. And this technology is debugged enough to show a picture of acceptable quality, covering the entire color range. For aesthetes, there is a subtle manual color adjustment, and everyone else has enough preset modes.

        All sorts of powerful phrases like Super True Absolute Elite Pro Vision are again marketing, dust in the eye, just additional preset modes. No more.

        Color gamut is a parameter that you do not need to pay attention to at all.

        Flat screen or curved

        A curved screen is another example of a forced race of manufacturers, one of the most meaningless innovations that brings more inconvenience than good.

        You need to watch a curved TV from a strictly defined position when the distance from any point on the screen to the eyes is the same, otherwise the picture will be distorted. Try to look at the screen a little from the side, and you will understand everything.

        Accordingly, watching such a TV with the whole family or with friends will be extremely inconvenient. Curved screen significantly reduces comfortable viewing angles.

        Simply put, TVs with a curved screen - this is crazy marketing and money down the drain.

        Smart TV or regular

        In fact, Smart TV is a set of applications built into the TV program shell for broadcasting various content from the Internet. Recently, as a platform, manufacturers offer full-fledged Android with Google Play and their own sets of applications.

        The weak point of such decisions is management. Entering queries and moving the cursor with the remote is long and inconvenient. The solution may be to use a smartphone or tablet as a control. Check for such a possibility when choosing a model.

        However, having bought a TV without Smart TV and an Internet connection, you can make it smart later using an external set-top box from Apple or based on Android. Or use an intermediary like Google Chromecast to stream content from your smartphone or computer.

        Which option is better? Choose by preference and price. It is quite possible that a separate set-top box will cost much less than the built-in Smart TV in the TV.

        The minus of the external set-top box is that it will occupy one HDMI port, which could be adapted for something else.

        The advantage of external consoles is that they can be changed based on needs. Also, they can install third-party firmware. The speed and frequency of software updates will vary by model.

        The choice of external set-top box is also determined by your budget. The price of a device, as a rule, directly depends on its capabilities and a set of functions.

        The only critical criterion is the resolution support of your TV. Very cheap consoles may work poorly or do not pull the Full HD resolution at all. Pay attention to it.

        If you know little about Smart TV and are not sure whether you will use it, then buy a TV without this function. If necessary, you can always buy a separate set-top box to view content from the Internet.

        Number of HDMI Ports

        In many families, the TV becomes a multifunctional media center, that is, a lot of different devices are connected to it.

        If you plan to use a lot of peripherals, consider the number of HDMI-connectors based on one port per device.

        • Set-top box as a substitute for Smart TV - 1 port.
        • A game console like the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One - 1 port.
        • Media player - 1 port.

        As you can see, even for a minimal set of technology, you need three HDMI ports. Count the number of connectors you need in advance.

        A good speaker system is, by definition, cumbersome, and modern TVs, on the contrary, try to make them as thin and light as possible. There is simply nowhere to place a sound system.

        If you have money, connoisseurs can choose among the top models of TVs that have really cool sound. Such devices are huge, stand like a car and weigh several tens of kilograms.

        Want to rumble and bomb - buy sound separately, multi-channel, with a subwoofer and a good amplifier.

        No “regular” TV will give you juicier basses, balanced middle and crystal tops, and therefore you do not need to pay attention to acoustics at all.

        Action plan

        So, have you read everything and are ready to buy a new TV? Fine. Well, in order not to forget anything, we offer you everything described above in the form of a short list.

        1. Decide on the maximum amount you can spend on TV.
        2. Decide on the acceptable dimensions of the future TV.
        3. Measure the distance from which you will watch TV. When choosing, evaluate candidates for the purchase from the same distance.
        4. Decide on permission. Think about whether you need 4K in the near future, or if Full HD is enough.
        5. Decide on the frequency. Think about whether you need a TV with a frequency of more than 120 Hz.
        6. Decide on the type of matrix. Visit the store in advance and personally compare the image and cost of conventional and AMOLED TVs.
        7. Decide on the shape of the screen. Visit the store in advance and personally compare the image and cost of conventional and curved TVs.
        8. Decide if you need a built-in Smart TV.
        9. Count the number of HDMI ports you need.

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