The new 4K TVs are, in a word, breathtaking. Offering sharper picture quality and a wider range of colors than ever thought possible, they allow you to see new details in your favorite TV shows and movies. If you spent the extra money and bought one of these devices, are you making the most out of your new TV? It’s not just as simple as hooking up your cable service to it. Since no TV stations are broadcasting in 4K, you are going to have to go elsewhere for content created to take full advantage of 4K. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your new display.
Make sure you’re getting 4K picture from your streaming provider
Probably the easiest way to get 4K content is over a streaming service. The two big names in streaming 4K content are Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Both are producing all of their original content in 4K and are aggressively filling their libraries with movies and shows in 4K. Amazon Prime Video gives you access to any of their 4K content with your normal subscription. Netflix, however, requires subscribers looking for 4K content to sign up for their most expensive membership package. They deliver 1080P or 480P content to the rest of the subscribers. To my mind, paying for Netflix Premium is worth it. I have already spent extra to have a 4K TV. It is easily worth the few extra dollars a month to get 4K content to it.
Can your internet connection handle 4K?
One thing to keep in mind is to get 4k streaming TV, you will need an Internet connection that can keep up the massive amount of data needed for such robust content. Amazon recommends a minimum connection speed of 15 Mbps, while Netflix calls for a connection of at least 25 Mbps. Keep in mind, these are minimum requirements - depending on how many other internet-connected devices you have, you may need significantly higher speeds to keep all your devices running smoothly. Not sure how fast your connection is? You can check this using Geek Squad’s free speed test.
Gaming in 4K
Currently, the only console that allows for playing games in 4K is Sony’s new PS4 Pro. The Xbox One S only allows for streaming video and 4K Blu-ray discs to play in 4K - everything else, including games, will only be in 1080P. Microsoft’s upcoming update to the Xbox One - currently titled Project Scorpio - will support games in 4K. Unfortunately, we still don’t have a release date or a price for that system. The original PS4 and Xbox One can only handle 1080P. The upcoming Nintendo Switch will not support 4K either.
Thinking about connecting your gaming PC to your TV? You will need to use an HDMI cable to connect your computer to your television. Only some computers have enough power to game in 4K. You might want to consult with a Geek Squad Agent to see if your machine can handle it.
Sound matters, too!
Probably the biggest shortcoming of most TVs is still with a shortcoming of most 4K TVs as well – the sound quality of the speakers in the unit just doesn’t compare to the picture quality. The quality experience gained from adding an audio system - anything from a simple soundbar all the way up to a Dolby Atmos surround-sound system - can’t be overstated. Improving on the standard sound production components in most 4K TVs will pay off in the long run. Movie nights with the family will never be the same!
Answering the call of clients across the nation since 2013, Agent James T currently works as a covert fulfillment agent, helping clients solve their computer problems without ever needing to leave home. A native New Yorker now residing in the glacier known as Minnesota, his passions include cars, coffee, and comic books.