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Is it time to invest in a 4K TV for gaming and media?

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4K, UHD, Ultra HD. What does it all mean and why is it a big deal? If you think back a couple of years ago at the history of televisions you would not believe that a 4K TV would set you back four to five times the price compared to today. Now, HD TVs are harder to find than 4K models as the industry has almost completely shifted towards the ultra-HD lifestyle. With that being said, I still get asked on a daily basis whether or not it is time to invest in a 4K TV and whether or not it will be worth it in the long run. 

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There are two questions you need to answer before buying a 4K TV. Do you game and do you have a sufficient internet connection to back 4K streaming content? I mean while you have a 4K TV you may as well benefit from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and more streaming in 4K. If anything, these are the only two factors that should decide your 4K TV purchase as DSTV, if anyone actually still uses that, still streams at 1080i and 720p and will not make use of your fancy 4K display. 

If you answered yes to either of those questions then you are on the road to needing a 4K display. Gaming, in particular, is where most 4K content is used these days. With the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X and PC being 4K compatible, this opens up the door to a whole new level of beautiful gaming and owning a 4K device without a 4K TV is not doing it justice. Sure, Sony and Microsoft boast that HD TVs benefit from supersampling but the reality is that most games lack decent support for HD TVs when running on a 4K console. 

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Sure, many games offer different graphics options such an HD 60FPS mode or a 4K 30FPS mode but those are few and far between and most developers opt-in for 4K modes over HD ones. It is the sad truth. Be it native 4K or checkerboard rendering, the difference between HD gaming and 4K gaming is a leap beyond each other and really has to be seen to be believed. 

More than just a TV set

But a 4K TV is more than just a TV set. Many people just believe that when buying a 4K TV, if you don't play 4K games or stream then it is a waste. That is actually not completely true. 4K TVs have a better sense of colour resolution, improved detail and even advanced built-in engines that render HD content at an upscaled 2K resolution. 

There are benefits to the TVs regardless of 4K content. They are also much better looking than HD TVs as the TV industry has made sure that 4K TVs are fashionable with sharper edges, bezel-less borders and uniform designs that make them a fashion statement in your lounge.

They are also bigger as 4K TVs are often made with size mind. Instead of 30-inch is the smallest model, 55-inch is the starting range so you are getting a bigger TV that looks better and fills your room with a sense of style. I also mentioned before that the price of 4K TVs has dropped dramatically over the past few months making them an option for even the budget buyer. 

They are also smart. Sure, HD TVs are smart too but 4K TVs come with more power and a range of apps to make the experience a lot better. The engines are faster which means less lag while moving around the operating systems, web browsers are actually worth using and streaming a show off Netflix is as easy as pressing one button. 

The future is 4K

Another reassuring feature of owning a 4K TV is that it is pretty much future proof. If you are investing a couple of thousands into a 4K TV set then know that you will not need to buy one for a couple of years. This also means that you should really look at features and models when buying one rather than going on the cheap and getting just any you see. 

The best part about a 4K TV purchase is that they are all 4K so you don't need to worry about needing to fork out more money for an upgraded 8K TV in the next four to five years. We are a few years away from seeing the next level of TV hardware becoming a consumer-ready product. You can also rest knowing that the next generation of console gaming will be fully supported and if anything, better than ever on your fancy 4K display. The 4K TV is the foundation of gaming for the next few years so when you have it you can sit patiently and wait for the future to arrive. 

Lastly, a 4K TV means the start of a new digital life. With the doors open to stream 4K content in all its glory comes the need to connect to even more in your digital space. Fibre becomes something you need in order to make this possible and once you have fast internet in your household, everything changes. Streaming becomes the only way you watch your content, online gaming becomes a normal way to play games, and a 4K TV is a foundation for all this entertainment. 

Tips for buying a 4K TV

So if you are looking for a 4K TV then what do you watch out for? If you want to buy a set that will last you a couple of years and support all the fancy tech such a Dolby Vision, HDR, and HDR 10 then you need to be prepared to pay. 

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Gaming especially is a big into HDR right now and the difference between 4K with HDR and 4K without HDR is night and day. Make sure the TV set you are buying supports HDR so you will be able to experience it for years to come. This means going for the fancy brands as they cost more for a reason. Samsung's QLED range boasts a gorgeous bright display with vibrant colours that make HDR a dream. LG's OLED range is also one of the best on the market and while it costs more, it is a great investment for years to come. 

The biggest tip I can give you for buying a 4K TV is don't go on the cheap. They are usually more expensive because the technology in them is better and the displays are too. The feature list on the high-end models make them more expensive but they will last you a few years as they are built better with features that will make your gaming and viewing experience even better. Namely HDR, Dolby Vision and better backlighting to reduce whitewash. 

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So is a 4K TV worth it now? The simple answer is yes. It is a great time to invest in a 4K display especially for gaming and the perks of media streaming make it even better. Sure, it will be a pricey investment as you will not only need the TV but a 4K console/PC and then fast internet to really make use of it all efficiently. Just know that after it all, you may be broke but you will be able to watch and play pretty things.  

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