There has been a lot of talk about 4K Ultra High Definition content over the past few years. We have finally reached a stage where it is becoming main stream and we have enough content to justify investing in the equipment and necessary wiring. It delivers four times the resolution of a Full HD 1080P image. You can get a significant improve and enhancement in overall picture quality, especially with sources which pass video content in native 4096 x 2160 4K resolution. Whether you decide to invest in a Television or Projector that supports 4K, the visuals are much clearer and sharper and make the overall viewing experience much more realistic. 

Do you need special HDMI cables?

When preparing to make the upgrade to 4K, or even planning for a new residential or commercial 4K setup, it is essential to have the necessary cables and hardware in place. Transmitting video content from a source such as a 4K Set Top Box, 4K Media Player or AV Receiver requires an HDMI Cable to be connected between the source and your Television or Projector. The HDMI Cable should have a bandwidth which supports 4K, or there could be signal loss and buffering issues in transmitting the video. The new HDMI 2.0 standard provides 18 gigabits per second transmission speeds, more than enough to support 4K requirements of 12- bit color and video up to 60 frames per second. When purchasing a HDMI Cable for your set up, make sure to they are certified up to 18 gigabits per second or you will face signal transmission issues, especially when sending 4K content from set top boxes or while 4K gaming. The new Aurora lineup of HDMI Cables from Tributaries Cables are all 4K compatible and among the first HDMI cables to earn DPL Labs 18Gbps Seal of Approval.

From 2014 on wards most Televisions, Projectors and AV Receivers begin including HDMI Ports which support HDCP 2.2. HDCP 2.2 is a technology designed to prevent illegal copying of 4K Ultra HD Content. To now be able to watch 4K content without any signal problems or video loss, every link in your video chain must support HDCP 2.2. Lots of 4K TVs and 4K media players have been sold since the first models arrived in mid-2013, and many of those products — especially from 2013 — lack support for HDCP 2.2. Worse, these products cannot be upgraded because HDCP 2.2 requires a “hardware” update — it’s not fixable with a firmware update.

4K delivers four times the resolution of a Full HD 1080P image.

The HDCP 2.2 issue doesn’t just apply to Ultra High Definition TVs and video sources — it affects any other components in the signal chain. If you run your HDMI connection through a home theater receiver or sound bar, it’ll need to be HDCP 2.2 compliant, as well. Any device in the chain that prevents the HDCP digital handshake from happening will prevent you from seeing a 4K image. When purchasing your 4K Television, Projector, or AV Receiver, it’s best to ensure that they have HDMI ports which are HDMI 2.0 and also support HDCP 2.2. Even though your Television may advertise itself as 4K ready or your AV Receiver may claim to have 4K pass through, it is important to verify that all devices have HDMI 2.0 ports which are HDCP 2.2 compatible to ensure that your devices will be compatible with current and future 4K content. The same verification needs to be made when purchasing cable boxes, blu-ray players or media players which claim to be 4K ready. Many cable companies have 4K channels but their set top boxes don’t support the latest HDMI standards and don’t pass true 4K Ultra HD signals. Media Players such as the Apple TV 4th Generation may also be the latest devices from their manufacturer and have apps which can stream 4K Ultra HD Content, but their hardware does not support the transmission of 4K signals.

Should you opt for a 4K TV?

There is a huge library of 4K content becoming readily available. Take a look at this article if you already have a 4K TV but you are struggling with content. The benefits far outweigh the costs and the dramatic increase in picture quality and resolution takes your entertainment experience to another level. With most new movies releasing on 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Discs, streaming apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime providing TV Shows and Movies ready to stream in 4K resolution, and digital set top boxes which can transmit 4K television channels the choice to upgrade to 4K has just become a lot easier to make.