11 reasons why your next TV has to be an Ultra HD 4K TV

6. 4K internet browsing is frickin' mind-blowing

"...the level of clarity that springs up on a 4K set is eye-popping..."

With a native 4K browser in your TV's smart armory, the Internet literally becomes a killer app. When you view Google Maps in a browser, it interrogates the resolution of your display and adjusts available information and detail accordingly. So while this makes the mapping experience is a bit 'meh' on a regular Smart TV, the level of clarity that springs up on a 4K set is eye-popping. It's like orienteering with a remote control.

7. 4K home movies are coming too!

To heck with Hollywood, you'll soon be able to record your own movies in 4K UHD. Sony's incoming FDR-AX1E camcorder records 4K in the new XAVC S home format (a derivation of the broadcast 4K video XAVC acquisition format), which uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264. With a 3840x 2160 update seemingly planned for the AVCHD format, a 4K TV becomes a no-brainer if you want to see your family holiday videos played back in chilling clarity. And you can already get smartphones and action cams that record in 4K!

8. 4K gaming is an inevitability

Panasonic's 65-inch WT600 4K TV has shown just how compelling 4K gaming can look, thanks to its provision of a DisplayPort v1.2a connection. Hooked up to a PC with 4K graphics card (you're going to need something in the order of dual Nvidia GeForce GTX Titans, no small investment), the huge pixel-packed panel proves that high-frame rate gaming can look stupendous. When high-spec graphics cards begin to sport HDMI 2.0 connections, UHD gaming will really take off…

4K TV sport

9. 4K TV sports coverage is better than actually being there

Sky and other international broadcasters have made no bones about the fact that they see 2160p 50/60Hz sports coverage as a killer app for the new Ultra HD format. The fluidity of movement that the technology offers, complete with unbeatable detail, delivers a viewing experience they believe punters will be happy to pay a premium for. Indeed, veteran Sky Sports director in the UK Tony Mills says that 4K could fundamentally change the language of TV sports coverage. "The extra resolution means you no longer need to keep cutting to big close-ups," he says. "You can clearly see the emotion on a player's face from a distance…"

10. 4K panel prices are tumbling

It's not a question of "when will…" 4K panels fall in price, more like "how far and how fast…" As more manufacturers commit to procuring more 4K panels, volume production from panel vendors will escalate and prices will tumble. This year it took just months for first generation screen prices to be revised downwards, and next year's UHD models are likely to carry only a modest price premium over similarly sized Full HD models.

11. 4K TV really isn't a 3D-like fad

It may be tempting to dismiss 4K as being as faddish as stereoscopy, however there's little reason to link the two. Home 3D has been widely derided largely because the viewing experience is both uncomfortable and gimmicky. None of that applies to 4K. A better picture is simply a better picture. Ironically, 4K also makes 3D look better, but we're not even going to go there…

4K TV reviews

Samsung UE55F9000

55-inch Ultra HD TV

Panasonic TX-L65WT600

65-inch Ultra HD TV

Sony KD-65X9005A

65-inch Ultra HD TV

LG 84LM960V

84-inch Ultra HD TV

Sony KD-84X9005

84-inch Ultra HD TV

More 4K TV reviews on the way from Toshiba, Sony and Philips

Steve May
Home entertainment AV specialist

Steve has been writing about AV and home cinema since the dawn of time, or more accurately, since the glory days of VHS and Betamax. He has strong opinions on the latest TV technology, Hi-Fi and Blu-ray/media players, and likes nothing better than to crank up his ludicrously powerful home theatre system to binge-watch TV shows.