4K LED Display: The Ultimate Guide
What is 4K LED display?
4K LED display to put simply, A display device that is capable of displaying images and videos at 4K resolution. But what is 4k resolution exactly? Let’s find out.
TV, movie, mobile and LED display use 4K resolution predominantly today. A 3840 × 2160 resolution is now the standard in television and 4096 × 2160 resolution (which is called DCI 4K) is the standard in cinemas.
Not all 4K display screens use real 4K technology. There are actually quite a bit of difference in several types of 4K display screens. There is what you call the 4K2K@30Hz, 4K2K@60Hz and 4K1K. Here’s how they differ:
4K2K@30Hz – this type of resolution is done through an HDMI connection. To explain this term, it is simply a display device that is capable of display 4k pixels by 2k pixels at a 30 Hz refresh rate. To put it in perspective, 30 Hz is 30 frames per second.
4K2K@60Hz – on the other, this term means that it is capable of displaying the same resolution, only at a higher refresh rate of 60 Hz. That’s 60 frames per second.
Normally, this won’t matter if we are talking about movies and TV shows or just any regular video. That’s because movies and TV shows are normally shot at a refresh rate of 30 Hz.
The difference between the two will be very evident though if you are playing video games. That’s because there is a very noticeable input lag that will happen when using a 4K2K@30Hz display device on a game that will require 60 fps.
The other term you need to familiarize yourself with is the 4K1K. Compared to the other two terms, his is a relatively lower resolution as it only operates at 3840×1080 resolution.
In other words, it is not a true 4K technology. Think of it this way, you come to a panda show hoping to see big pandas. If you are watching it on 4K2K, you’ll see a giant panda.
But if you watch it on 4K1k, you’ll only see a medium sized panda. You’ll still be watching the same panda show, only the panda at the 4K2K is bigger.
As mentioned above, ultra HD is the pinnacle of video resolution right now and the Ultra HD Signal Source Standard is at 4K2K@60Hz. Most TVs today already have a refresh rate of 60Hz.
This has become the hallmark of ultra high definition. That also means that any source file of an ultra HD video will be 4K2K.
How to choose 4k products
To know which 4K display screen to choose, you have to learn how to choose properly. But it doesn’t just stop there. Here’s how you choose the right 4K display screen for you.
All video entertainment content today is at 60Hz or less when it comes to frame rate. As mentioned above, that has become the standard of UHD. 30Hz is ok but a bit old.
If you will be using it for display purposes only, it will be enough. But if you will be using it for something else like PC gaming, you will be better served with a 60Hz refresh rate.
As mentioned above, it will have a higher frame rate, thereby eliminating input lag. This will allow you to enjoy 4K gaming all the time.
Size and Resolution
After you’ve considered which refresh rate to go for, everything else really will be arbitrary. But a bit more fine tuning of your choice can be done to further enhance the viewing pleasure.
In this case, the size and resolution will go hand in hand. You can’t expect a TV or LED display to have excellent UHD resolution when it is only 20 inches big.
Keep in mind that ultra HD has to be at least 3840 × 2160. That’s why you will need a size that can cater to that kind of resolution. Going for a 50 inch or larger screen is optimal.
But of course, it will all depend on the size that your entertainment or living room can accomodate. So consider that before buying a 4K TV.
There are also hidden costs that you need to be aware of, such as Internet connection speed upgrade (if you want to use Netflix and other streaming sites).
You have to have the right Internet speed in order to cater to 4K resolution. That’s because it is much more bandwidth heavy mainly due to the file size that this resolution comes with.
We recommend you have at the very least, a 25 Mbps connection in order to avail of any 4K streaming sites.
Basically, hidden costs will be anything pertaining to additional purchase or fees that you need to pay in order to get the full benefits of 4K resolution (internet connection, audio system, peripheral devices like blu ray players, gaming consoles, etc).
You need to be aware of all these before you go out and purchase a 4K TV.
Signal Transmission Compatibility
Signal transmission compatibility is another important thing to consider. You have to make sure that the 4K display screen you get will be able to accommodate all the signal transmission options of all your peripheral devices (blu ray players, gaming consoles, etc).
You need to familiarize yourselves with that too. Older Xbox and Playstation consoles aren’t equipped to handle 4K signal transmission is one good example.
So if you wish to still use those consoles, you have to ensure that your LED TV will have connection options compatible with those consoles. So before you go out and buy one, make sure you know what type of connections you will be using.
What are the differences between 480P 720P, 1080P and 4K?
480P, 720P, 1080P and 4K are all different types of video resolutions. 480P has a video resolution of 852×480 pixels. 720P is the starting point of high definition.
It has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels. 1080P is where the fun really starts. This resolution displays 1,920 pixels across the screen horizontally and 1,080 pixels down the screen vertically.
To put it in perspective, a 480P resolution is what is being used in DVD. This is the highest quality that any DVD video can offer. This is well suited on laptops and small televisions.
720P is a much more improved resolution since it is where high definition starts (as mentioned above). This is the most common resolution for most HD television broadcasts.
1080P on the other hand, is considered as an upgrade of 720P. It has finer details compared to the predecessor of HD. 1080P is commonly regarded as full HD because the 1920×1080 pixel resolution can display finer details than the 720P.
The downside is, it has a much bigger file size than the previous three resolutions. Blu Ray discs use this resolution.
4K is regarded as ultra HD. That’s because of its 3840 × 2160 pixel resolution. 4K is a much more detailed version of the 1080P.
That’s why it’s called ultra HD. It has an insanely high resolution that will be most suited to view videos with 4K resolution as well. It is also much more suitable for screen sizes of 50 inches and above.
Basically, these resolutions are not the only factor for determining clearer and sharper images, but they are an important factor at the very least.
When you choose a resolution, you have to consider the quality of the content you are watching, as well as the position at which you are watching it (distance between you and the screen).
4K LED display application
4K LED display screens have actually become popular these days. That’s mainly due to the different applications you can do with it. Here are some uses of 4K display screens:
Apparently, 4K security cameras are now a thing. You have to have a matching security monitor that can also display 4K resolution to fully appreciate your 4K security camera.
That’s why 4K outdoor LED screens can now also be used as security monitors.
Expos and product launches
Another common use of 4K screens is during expos and product launches. This type of display screen is pretty popular during these events simply because of its capability to display very detailed images.
When you display a product or merchandise during an expo, many people will nitpick on it. That’s why a screen that is capable of displaying images or videos down to the smallest details is very useful.
Business and education
Customers can now rent out 4K LED screens. This is especially true for production outfits. These prods normally need LED walls for concerts, weddings, expos and other events that require big screens.
But aside from that, these screens can also be used in conference rooms or board rooms. And if you can use that screen in those locations, you can virtually use it in classrooms as well (or at the very least, in audio visual rooms in schools).
This is probably the most popular use of 4K display screens. More and more people are setting up their home entertainment system with 4K TVs, and for good reason.
Ever heard of Netflix and chill? Well, with a 4K television unit, you can Netflix and chill like a boss. With the advent of Netflix, Amazon Prime and all other streaming sites’ 4K option, it has become a lot easier to access 4K content on demand. That makes it very appealing.
So as you can see, the applications for 4K LED screens are virtually limitless. You can use it according to any preference you want. That’s how versatile it is.
What is the difference between 4K LED and 4K LCD display?
Technically speaking, LED screens are just a subset of LCD screens. They are really both using liquid crystal displays. They are both using the same basic technology.
This technology uses two layers of polarized glass through which the liquid crystals will both block and pass light. That’s how it works.
Aside from that, most of the 4K TVs on the market today are really just LCD models of some type or another. They just have different variations, specialized internal innovations and LED lighting array configurations.
They still use the basic technology described above.
There is however a much more advanced and much more prevalent 4K display today. Of course we are talking about the OLED. This type of display is a bit different than the LED/LCD technology.
OLED technology doesn’t filter LED light through an LCD panel. It instead drives current through millions of individual pixel-sized organic light emitting diodes made of organic carbon.
Plus, these diodes are also capable of perfectly shutting off or turning on individually.
Simply put, LED/LCD technology will rely on tiny light bulbs behind a filter screen, while OLED technology will rely on the light and darkness of carbon diodes.
This will result in perfect control variations of light and dark across all of the 8.2 million pixels found in a 4K screen display.
In short, OLED 4K provides more accurate contrast, color rendering and screen color uniformity compared to an LED/LCD 4K display.
What are the benefits of 4K HDR technology?
Improving display capabilities of LED/LCD has resulted in the term HDR or High-Dynamic Range. In case you didn’t know, here’s what 4K HDR can bring to the table.
Higher pixel loading – since it is using 4K technology, you can expect that more pixels are loaded for every image.
That’s 3840×2160 pixels to be exact. This is actually double the amount of the current SDR 1080P display technology.
Wider color range – more details of the image is being loaded because more pixels are being loaded. This will result in more colors being displayed compared to previous display technologies being offered.
To put it into perspective, SDR can display only 16.77 million colors, while the 4K HDR can display 1.07 billion colors. That’s how huge the gap is.
Overall image quality improvement – resolution, color depth, color gamut, contrast and frame rate have all improved dramatically with 4K HDR, the resolution doubled, color depth and gamut has increased dramatically as well.
Contrast has also improved (specifically dark contrast). 4K HDR has also introduced the 120Hz frame rate, a much higher version of the standard 60Hz.
All in all, the quality of the image displayed in 4K HDR display screens is unbelievably high.
It has raised the bar on everything and is definitely the current highest standard in display technology today.
The only downside to this technology is the technical bottleneck that comes with it, because not all devices have this capability yet.
But the future looks bright as more and more companies have adapted to the latest standard. It won’t be long till we see an 8K HDR technology.