Why I Bought A 4K TV… And (Maybe) You Should Too
4K TVs are cheaper than ever and Sky and Netflix are now ALL over 4K content… so is now the time to pull the trigger and get a 4K TV?
Not so long ago, say, 12-18 months, 4K TVs still felt a little like overkill. Most people – including this writer – were perfectly happy with their good ol’ 1080p HDTVs. They’re big enough, clear enough and, in some cases, or through Chromecast, smart enough to last for another couple of years – at the very least.
However, during this period all the big players began gearing up for the switch to 4K. Netflix got on board. Ditto Sky and other big media players from around the world. The reason? Umm… that’s where it gets a little murky, as tech trends, while inventive and great, are often done in order to just push things forward.
Tech companies like Samsung and Sony need to make money from new TVs and Sky and Netflix need new subscribers or USPs to separate them from their competitors. Content is always King. But after that things like picture quality come into play and once you’ve seen something in 4K, a football match, the F1 or a movie, for instance, going back to 1080p is noticeable.
Just as we’ve adjusted to larger phones, so too will we adjust to 4K. After a couple of years, it will replace 1080p and, before you know, everything you watch and all the games you play will be in 4K resolution. This is how technology trends happen. It’s not done over night… things happen slowly and then before you know it you’re one of the adopters and your old 1080p TV has been relegated to your kid’s room or a spare bedroom in your house.
I was kind of the fence about 4K TVs, but I pulled the trigger on one a month or so back. I didn’t spend a fortune and got a decent 4K TV at the size I wanted and so far I have no regrets about the purchase. Figuring I wouldn’t have to update it for at least five years, I didn’t mind spending £700 on mine. Unlike many people, I’m not afraid to admit that I use my TV a lot, whether for sports, gaming or watching movies and TV shows via Netflix, Sky or Amazon.
Which one did I go for? I went with a 55in Sony BRAVIA HDR Ultra HD TV set, as the reviews were very good, I like Sony TVs, and it was reduced from £1002 to £779 on Amazon.
It was a little over budget but I didn’t mind paying the extra as the TV itself is bloody stunning and, as a benefit, it came with Android TV installed which, for a hardcore Android user like myself, was a nice little bonus.
Budget 4K TV Options?
There are multiple options at very low price points for 4K TVs, however, so if your budget doesn’t extend to £700 do not be put off – you still have plenty of options.
A good friend of mine recently spent less than £400 on a brand new 43in Hi Sense 4K TV which proves, even if you’re operating on a restrictive budget, you can still have excellent options.
I mean, just check out the specs and features for the HiSense 43 inch Widescreen 4K Smart LED TV:
- Ultra HD 4K: Packing four times the number of pixels into the same screen sizes as traditional 1080 p
- Smart TV: Instantly stream from BBC iPlayer, Netflix and YouTube
- Freeview HD: Get the preferable TV channels in high definition
- Slim and powerful high quality sound bar with dual build in subwoofers
And all for under £400! Not too shabby
How Did I Justify This Decision?
Simple: my old HDTV was getting a bit long in the tooth, was smaller than I would have liked, and I will definitely be buying the new PS4 once it’s available later this year. For this reason, it made ZERO sense to buy another 1080p HDTV because I could pick up a 4K TV for more or less the same price as I paid for my old one, which is now four years old.
I thought about it for awhile and looked at my options, after working out how much I wanted to spend. I know 4K content isn’t everywhere at present, but forward thinking tells me that in a very short space of time 4K will become the defacto way in which content is delivered by most big content providers. And I might as well be ready for when that happens, rather than buying a 1080p TV now and then feeling like I’m missing out in 18 months time.
Do You Need A 4K TV?
Potentially. The way I see it there are four simple types of user that are suited to 4K over 1080p right now. And these are as follows:
If you’re a serious console gamer then a 4K TV makes a lot of sense. Both Sony and Microsoft will release their 4K-ready consoles later this year, meaning a slew of updated 4K gaming experiences will be available during 2017. As I said earlier, I’m definitely getting the new PS4 when it comes out and this was easily the biggest motivating factor behind my decision to invest in a new 4K TV.
I love films and watch probably three or four a week – sometimes more. I used to use BlueRay a lot, but after the rise of Netflix, Amazon Film, and Google Play Movies, my usage went down. I preferred the convenience of downloading content versus buying physical copies. I’m also moving house soon and will likely pony-up for Sky Q as well in order to make the most of Sky’s movie offerings.
Football. F1. Cricket. Rugby – all look amazing in 4K, and if you’re a proper fan that spends an entire weekend watching matches, races, or innings then a 4K starts to make a lot of sense, as sports is one of the best things EVER to see in 4K – especially F1!
Those With Ancient TV Sets
If you have a REALLY old TV set, one that perhaps isn’t even 1080p, then, you sir, have waited long enough! You’re due an update and when you do you might as well go for a 4K unit, as they’re around the same price as most top of line HDTVs now.
And while TVs are quite expensive, you have to put things into context. Most people get A LOT of milage out of their TV sets. I certainly do. And when you don’t really have to change it for half a decade, at the very least, what’s £600 for a new one in the grand scheme of things?
The way I sold it to myself was simple: I’d do a lot of work, save some cash and treat myself to a new TV set. I couldn’t just go out and by one, not on my wages, but the idea of playing games and watching F1 in 4K was enough to inspire me to pull my finger out. It took a few months but now I have one strapped to my wall it was all worth it.
Now I just need to save up for my next purchase: the PS4 Pro, which is due to land in November.