Voyaging to Content’s New Frontier: What You Need to Watch 4K Content

Congrats, you brave pioneer of media! You’ve upgraded your TV and DVD player and can now enjoy Ultra High Definition content, otherwise known as 4K content.

4K Ultra HD basically has quadruple the pixel density of 1080p, its predecessor. For now, 4K runs 24 frames per second, because nearly all of the currently available content is either TV or movies, which are virtually all 24fps. However, there could come a day when content that has a higher framerate — like a sports broadcast — could be shown in Ultra HD. What’s more, considering the previous leaps in AV technology — from black and white television to color to high definition — the sheer quality that this latest jump delivers is truly awesome.

Now, in order to enjoy your new toys, you’re going to need to be able to make them talk to each other, which means you’re going to need the right cables.

You’re more than likely familiar with HDMI cables, which are basically what you need to get your system set up. The key is understanding the specifications and the bandwidth rating.

According to the HDMI Forum Technical Working Group, there are four, basic video resolution guidelines:

  • Standard HDMI runs up to 720p or 1080i at 30Hz
  • High-Speed HDMI runs up to 4K resolution at 30Hz
  • Premium High-Speed HDMI runs up to 4K resolution and has an HDR (high dynamic range) at up to 60Hz
  • Ultra High-Speed HDMI runs up to 10K resolution with an HDR at 120Hz refresh rate

You also need to consider the bandwidth rating. Choosing the wrong one means you’re not going to get quadruple the pixel density, which would be more than a shame. The various bandwidth ratings include:

  • High Speed equates to 10.2Gbps
  • Premium High Speed equates to 18Gbps
  • Ultra High Speed equates up to 48Gbps

Although it might seem common sense, it bears saying: your 4k Ultra HD equipment will require an HDMI cable capable of 4K. Just follow the connection instructions in your equipment’s owners manual, and you’ll be off to the new frontier of content!

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