What is a 4K Ultra TV?

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Updated January 21, 2023

Many brands sell 4K TVs, which has quickly become the most popular TV resolution. However, there is often some confusion over what is 4K ultra TV. Although the two terms describe different things in most cases, they mean almost the same thing in terms of TVs. Here is an explanation of what 4K Ultra TV is and why they are among the best TVs on the market.


  • A TV with 4K resolution has roughly 4,000 pixels along the horizontal axis.
  • TVs with ultra-high definition (UHD) feature 3840×2160 pixels or 7680×4320 pixels.
  • Many TVs with 4K also feature UHD.

What are 4K and UHD?

Brands marketing TVs often use 4K and UHD interchangeably. Most people just know what a CRT TV is but do not know the difference between these later models. However, these terms often may refer to separate things. For example, most 4K TVs have the resolution required for UHD, but UHD includes two separate resolutions.

4K TVs

It is important to note that 4K TVs and cinema 4K are two different resolutions. When you see a movie with 4K, you most likely see a resolution of 4096x2160p. Additionally, there are several other 4K standards of note. For example, the cinema industry standard organization, Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI,) released the Digital Cinema System Specification in 2005. According to these standards, 4K for cinema can be 4096×2160, 3996×2160, or 4096×1716 resolutions.

You need to know what TV resolution is to understand why it is important. Many TVs with 4K have a resolution of 3840x2160p, one of two options for ultra-high definition (UHD) TVs. 4K TVs are referred to as such because they feature roughly 4,000 pixels horizontally. Many newer TVs include 4K, though some older models may still be available with 1080p. Whatever your budget, you can probably find a 4K TV, very likely an HDR-compatible one, that fits your needs. 4K TVs may also be referred to as 2160p. In some cases, you may hear about a 4D and wonder what a 4D television is. It is nothing that you are imagining.

Are 8K TVs Available?

At this time, many brands continue to work on 8K technology, and these TVs can be expensive. TVs with 8K resolution often cost thousands of dollars. Though these TVs feature about four times the pixels of 4K TVs, they may not be accessible to most consumers. If you are in the market for an 8K TV, they offer many features available for 4K TVs, including HDR and upscaling. Whether you are looking to get an 8K TV or a 4K TV, you may want to know what OLED is, as it is one of the most popular screen technologies for those resolutions.


Retailers and brands separate TVs with UHD into two subcategories, both of which feature an aspect ratio of 16:9. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) created two standards for UHDTV. The most common resolution for TVs is 3840x2160p. This resolution is referred to as UHD1. However, there is a second resolution for UHD, which is 7680x4320p. This resolution is referred to as UHDTV-2, though it is often marketed as 8K because it features about 8K pixels horizontally.

UHD TVs feature enhanced dynamic range and color, both of which impact saturation and contrast. In addition, UHD may allow viewers to see colors that cannot be seen on high-definition (HD) TVs. This improvement will be seen with the release of content that uses the color space of Rec. 2020 rather than Rec. 709. In addition to color enhancements, UHD offers faster frame rates, up to 120 frames per second. Finally, UHD may allow Rec. 2020, higher dynamic range, and higher frame rates on HD services without 4K. These features could improve quality with less demand in bandwidth.

What Is HDR?

Displays with high dynamic range (HDR) first came out in 2014. High dynamic range refers to the increased range of colors available on some TVs. Compared to standard dynamic range (SDR,) HDR offers brighter brights and deeper blacks. Additionally, HDR enables an image to show more details and more colors than previously possible. These enhancements are particularly noticeable in displays with the capabilities to feature high brightness, contrast, and colors. Content with HDR will look different on different displays, so it may be helpful to compare displays before buying a new TV.

Just as with UHD, there are several different formats for HDR. The most common formats include HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG. Both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision require dynamic metadata, although the other two do not. This dynamic metadata may improve image quality on limited displays without HDR. Additionally, creators can change how the image is adjusted.

Insider Tip

Content with HDR will look different on different displays, so it may be helpful to compare displays before buying a new TV.


The Consumer Technology Association introduced the HDR10 standard in 2015. HDR10 is the most common of the many formats available, but it cannot be used with SDR displays. HDR10 includes metadata to help adjust the content, but this information remains the same throughout the entire time the content is on. Additionally, content creators remain unable to specify how the display should be adjusted.


Another free-to-use format for content creators, HDR10+ or HDR10 Plus, was announced in 2017. This format works the same as HDR10 on a fundamental level. However, this format updated HDR10 by allowing for dynamic metadata. This type of metadata enables content creators to control how their content is adjusted and allows for different adjustments throughout the entire length of the content. HDR10+ may provide an alternative to Dolby Vision without the fees.

Dolby Vision

Dolby Vision emerged in 2014 and is a proprietary HDR format. Dolby Laboratories creates and licenses this format. Dolby Vision utilizes dynamic metadata, meaning that content creators can control how their content is adjusted for SDR displays. However, it requires these creators to use a display with at least 1,000 nits peak brightness.


Hybrid log-gamma (HLG,) also known as HLG10, provides another free-to-use option. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) developed this format to enable backward compatibility with SDR. It utilizes the HLG transfer function, as well as Rec. 2020 colors and some depth. This format may work with SDR video, but the color spaces are not compatible.


What is 4K resolution?

TVs with 4K resolution often feature roughly 4,000 pixels horizontally, roughly four times the number of pixels in a 1080p TV.

Do all of those extra pixels matter?

The increased number of pixels allows users to see more details within the image since each pixel represents a portion of the picture.

What internet speed do you need to stream 4K TV?

To stream 4K on Netflix, you need an internet connection of 25 megabits per second.

STAT: Whatever your budget, you can probably find a 4K TV, very likely an HDR-compatible one, that fits your needs. (source)

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