Buying a new television today, you’ll struggle to find a TV that is not 4K UltraHD “ready”. All of them should have a 4K panel that can display content in the best size and detail available today. You take it home and you want to get started on your high resolution viewing, show… me… the… detail.
We recently tested the new Hisense Series 7 TV and learned a few things worth sharing with you…
Most new televisions have apps onboard and should include Netflix. Jump straight in, make sure you’re on the highest subscription plan which enables 4K content and you’re good to go. Shows on Netflix will show “UltraHD 4K” or “HDR” if it is 4K content. If the TV does not have Netflix onboard then you could connect a Google ChromeCast Ultra, a 4K smart Blu Ray player or a PlayStation 4 Pro / Xbox One X. More detail around UltraHD on Netflix is available here
Stan offers 4K content and we’re personally loving the shows that it offers eg Billions. One thing to be very wary of is the list of televisions and devices that Stan supports in 4K. The list is available here and while the list is long, it is focused on two key brands and one console at this time. No ChromeCast Ultra support, no Hisense, no Panasonic or Sony support either. The console support however is important. If you bought a Hisense TV for example and Stan in 4K is important to you, then buying the Playstation 4 Pro will provide that to your TV. It just might be frustrating to buy a gaming console to enable this.
The Apple TV is something many of us own and love. It is so simple to use, with a beautiful interface and control options. Whether you have a Stan or Netflix supported 4K TV, you’ll never be able to watch 4K content via the current Apple TV. The issue here is that the Apple TV itself can only output in 1080p. Sure, the TV will upscale as best as it can, but the signal going to your TV is not 4K.
We’ve heard the news about 4K gaming coming to Xbox and PlayStation. This is fantastic news and will blow our minds. The games will work on existing Xbox One and PS4 consoles but unless it is the latest model (PS4 Pro and Xbox One X) then the output from the console will only be 1080p providing your TV with the only option of upscaling.
Moving away from streaming and onto the discs. BluRay movies are now available in lovely 4K offering the best quality you can get. To support this function, you’ll need a 4K BluRay player which Samsung and Sony will sell you, or you can play them on newer model PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Remember, your normal BluRay movies will only be upscaled, you’ll need to buy a proper 4K version (if available) of the movie.
Oh yeah, we do still watch normal TV from time to time. Anything over the air; broadcast television won’t be shown in true 4K. Your TV will upscale whatever is received but you’ll be lucky to find channels in full high-definition let alone 4K. This includes channels 7, 9, 10 etc but also includes Foxtel. Foxtel in HD is fantastic but it isn’t 4K and we haven’t heard of it coming anytime soon in 4K. So for 4K viewing, you’ll be restricted to the other above options.
Once you get started on 4K viewing, such as watching House of Cards or Chefs Table on Netflix, you’ll be keen to only ever watch content if it is available in ultra high-definition. Finding a TV show or movie that isn’t available in 4K can turn you off completely. You will be surprised at some and frustrated at others. While a 4K movie might be available for purchase on BluRay, Netflix or Stan might only be streaming it in 1080p full high-definition. 4K is an emotional rollercoaster, but finding the right TV at the beginning means doing a little research and being prepared is the best way. Check the compatibility lists, put some money aside for a potential attachment device (console, BluRay player etc) and use your new TV for what it is truly good for.