Even though 4k technology has been available to the consumer for a few years now, the hype for it still remains overrated. To many people get blind sighted by the features and sale gimmicks. As with all technology that starts off early in the market, you will end up seeing new iterations of the same technology, but with better performing features. So if you are not sold with that statement alone, then let us breakdown why 4k will remain a gimmick for some and beneficial to others.
If you’re not familiar with a bottleneck it just refers to the lowest performing component in a set. So in this particular scenario we are dealing with 4 components that make up a working 4k display. The Internet speed, display size, software, and hardware. If any of these components don’t operate at the same baseline, then you have a bottleneck or a weak link in the whole operation.
#1 Streaming confusion!
Just because a video states it can be streamed in 4k does not mean your viewing experience will be met. Three big factors will determine the fate of your viewing pleasure.
- Internet Speed
- Display Size
Let us talk about internet speed first since it is a crucial factor in determining whether 4k is worth your money. The national average internet speed in the United States is around 12 megabits per second (Mbps). We tested that it requires at least 15 Mbps to have a good viewing experience streaming 4k, which did not take into account latency (no problems with busy traffic online). Obviously the outcome will be different depending on the time of day in which you plan on streaming.
Internet Rush Hour is the time period when the majority of Internet users are online at the same time. Typically, the peak hours are between 7 and 11 pm. During this time frame, users commonly experience slowness while browsing or downloading content.
#2 Display size does matter!
If you are planning on buying a 4k display that is under 50 inches, you are throwing your money away. Viewing distances below 50 inches can be safely viewed between 6-10 feet at 1080p without pixelization. The human eye at those distances and sizes will not see beyond the 1080p threshold, so the additional pixels are not registered. Sorry to burst your bubble, but science is not wrong here. If you plan on shopping above the 50 inch threshold, then you would benefit from the vibrant 4k technology.
#3 I need good hardware too?
Having the right equipment matters if you plan on dumping your wallet full of cash on a 4k display. Right now there is little support that the broadcasters can offer you in regards to 4k viewing pleasure. This is because most of their systems were revamped for 1080p and not 4k, so right there we have our first bottleneck that we as a consumer cannot control.
So in a nutshell 4k displays are still on the enthusiast level considering their introduction just a few years ago. I would not recommend this holiday to drop the ball on a 4k display. Your cash will go alot further this holiday season on a 1080p display, which probably will be discounted significantly during black friday. The best way to experience 4k content is through a physical device like the newly developed ultra high definition blu-ray. Streaming content might be a hit or miss for you depending on your connection speeds and you cannot rely on broadcasters either because their systems have not been fully upgraded to 4k. Hope this was informative and hopefully you read this article before falling victim to the sales pitch.