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Smart TVs & 4K: 15 Answers (For Beginners)

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Have you been smart-TV shopping lately? If image accuracy is crucial to you, then you should look into getting a TV with a 4K resolution. 

4K is already a standard for modern smart TVs today. 

But is 4K resolution worth the advertising hype? 

Here’s What You Need to Know about Smart TVs and 4K Resolution:

Smart TVs are advanced televisions that can connect to the Internet. Smart TVs offer tons of features, and many models offer 4K resolution, which provides viewers with clearer images and a more pleasurable viewing experience. 

1. Do All Smart TVs Come with 4K Resolution?

Not all smart TVs come with 4K resolution.

But if you buy a newer smart TV, there is a good chance it will come with a 4K resolution, as 4K has become fairly standard in the last few years.

2. Can Smart TVs Stream in 4K?

Only smart TVs that display content in 4K resolution can stream in 4K settings. 

Thus, if you are trying to stream a video in 4K, but your TV can only handle 1080p resolution, the maximum resolution the streaming device will display is 1080p. 

3. How Fast of Internet Do You Need to Stream in 4K?

The Internet speed you need to stream in 4K depends on the app or platform you are using. 

But for the most part, the average speed needed by these platforms is 25 Mbps. 

4. Is There Anything Better than 4K at This Point?

Some smart TVs now offer 8K resolution, which is the next development after 4K. 

While it is not yet a standard resolution, 8K smart TVs are an exceptional choice if you want to future-proof your TV. 

Most video platforms stream at 4K. In the future, they will probably start streaming at 8K, too.

5. Do the Streaming Services Offer A Lot of Content 4K?

Many streaming services now have content in 4K resolution. While not all titles are in 4K, there are a lot of choices available. 

And if a title is relatively new, there is a good chance it is available in 4K. 

6. Do All Streaming Services Need the Same Bandwidth or Internet Speed? 

Streaming services have different needs for bandwidth or Internet speed. 

Some services, like Netflix, can run at 3 Mbps, while others need at least 5 Mbps.

But the platforms that offer 4K streaming have a common denominator: They all need at least 25 Mbps to stream at the highest resolution. 

7. Can You Tell the Difference between 4K, UHD, and Full HD?

Most people can see the difference in picture quality when watching in 4K, UHD, or HD. 

4K is associated with cinema-level resolutions, while UHD and full HD are of more average quality and used for home entertainment. 

To get an idea of the clarity between these resolutions, 4K is four times greater than full HD. But there’s a thin line when it comes to resolutions in home entertainment, and all these resolutions offer picture qualities that are quite good. 

8. What Is the Difference between a Smart TV and a 4K TV?

A smart TV is a TV that connects to the Internet for on-demand content. It can have resolutions that go from HD to 8K. 

A 4K TV is a TV with 4K resolution out of the box. While most 4K TVs are smart TVs, there are a few options for 4K TVs that do not have a smart platform. 

9. Do You Need Special Internet Cables for 4K on Smart TVs? 

You don’t need any special cables to stream 4K content on your smart TV. 

If you are looking for the right equipment to ensure 4K streaming consistently, make sure you have the following: 

  • A 4K smart TV or 4K streaming box.
  • An Internet connection of at least 25 Mbps. You may need something higher if your network is shared. 
  • An Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi. An Ethernet cable is more stable than Wi-Fi.

10. Can Android TV Boxes Stream in 4K Resolution? 

For the most part, Android TV Boxes can stream in 4K resolution. 

But some services don’t allow 4K resolution for particular devices.

For instance, Netflix has certified some devices for 4K resolutions. Many of these devices have deals with the company. 

If your device is not on the list, it can only run up to 1080p. 

11. Can a Chromecast Stream in 4K Resolution? 

Chromecast can stream in 4K resolution, provided it meets the following standards: 

  • A strong Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection
  • A 4K TV
  • An HDMI port that supports both HDCP 2.2 and 60 frames per second 
  • An Internet connection of at least 20 Mbps 
  • 4K content is from a compatible streaming platform 
  • A high-speed HDMI cable that’s no less than six feet. 

If your TV is connected to an AVR or soundbar, it should also be HDCP 2.2-supported. Also, if you are using a dongle,  you need to use the power supply that came with your Chromecast.

12. Can a Roku Streaming Stick Stream in 4K Resolution?

If you want to stream in 4K using a 4K Roku Streaming Stick, make sure you have the following:

  • A 4K TV with a HDCP-supported HDMI port 
  • An Internet connection of at least 25 Mbps 
  • A streaming service that can do 4K 
  • A high-quality, high-speed HDMI cable, unless you are using a Roku Streaming Stick that plugs directly into the TV 

13. Can You Get a Non-smart TV with a 4K Resolution? 

You can buy non-smart TVs that come with a 4K resolution. A good example would be the Sceptre 65-inc 4K smart TV.

But these non-smart TVs with 4K resolution come with a higher or similar price tag to a smart TV.

Considering that they don’t have many features, why are they expensive? 

  • Smart TVs can be cheaper or as affordable as 4K non-smart TVs because manufacturers can sell the data they collect from smart TV users.
  • Data collected is often used to tweak advertising and push content for these smart TVs.
  • If you want to know more about smart TVs and data collection, you may read this article

14. What Streaming Platforms Have 4K Streaming?

If you are looking to subscribe to a streaming service with 4K, here are some to consider: 

  • Amazon Prime Video 
  • Hulu 
  • Netflix 
  • VUDU 
  • YouTube 

Among those listed, YouTube, with its freemium model, is the most affordable. You can use it for free or choose to pay for an ad-free experience and the option of offline viewing for mobile devices. 

15. What Are the Most Sold 4K Smart TV Brands Today? 

If you are looking into buying a 4K smart TV, here are some options to consider. 

LG CX 

The LG CX is one of the most popular smart TVs on the market today. You can see its current pricing on Amazon

  • It has Chromecast built into it, so you can do 4K casting without any added equipment.
  • It can upscale content and handle HD content decently.
  • It works well in bright and dark environments.
  • It also has wide viewing angles.
  • The downside to this smart TV is its OLED display. While it produces a great image, the OLED display is prone to burn-in. But that can be avoided as long as you avoid pausing content and leaving it on the screen for a long time.

The LG CX comes in 48, 55, 65, and 77-inch models. 

Samsung Q80T 

The Samsung Q80T has image quality that’s almost on par with the CX series. The difference lies in the color quality, which can be noticeable when put side by side. You can check out its current pricing on Amazon

But as it is, sans the comparison, the Q80T has good image quality and also adapts well to lighting conditions of any room.

It can upscale content to 4K with no issues. Viewing angles are also wide, and you can expect HDR content to be decent.

The Samsung Q80T comes in 50, 55, 65, 75, and 85-inch models. 

Vizio P Series Quantum X 

The Vizio P Series Quantum X is another 4K smart TV that shines in the HDR department. You can see its pricing on Amazon

It features one of the widest color gamuts on the market, which makes its HDR content stand out. Highlights are emphasized, and the Quantum X’s VA panel offers an exceptional contrast ratio. 

The Quantum X can adapt to dark rooms and well-lit environments. 

The Quantum X can scale up content without problem from Blu-rays. However, DVDs and other content in 480p or 720p can be mediocre when upscaled. 

The Vizio P Series Quantum X comes in 65, 75, and 85-inch models. 

Final Thoughts 

If you are looking into buying a smart TV soon, you should consider getting one that has a 4K resolution. 

As technology evolves, lower resolutions will be phased out and replaced with 4K as the bare minimum. 

Eventually, streaming platforms will also shift to it as a standard, which will make 1080p almost obsolete.

 

Sources:

Your Guide to Watching 4K HD in 2021

Will My Android TV Box Stream Netflix In Full 4K?

Smart TV, 4K, and HDR: What Do They Mean and Do You Need Them?

The 6 Best 4k TVs – Winter 2021

 

 

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