Do I need a 4K set-top box?
One of the main things you pay attention to when you are shopping for a new iptv set-top box or a new TV is the resolution. So why does it take so much thought? Is it really best to get FullHD? Or has the time come for 4K?
Let us try to figure all this out.
What is resolution?
Each image consists of tiny dots or ‘pixels’. Thanks to the combination of these pixels, we get a picture. Resolution, in terms of TV hardware, refers to the number of pixels that make up the picture on the screen.
Presently we have a wide variety of resolutions. 32-inch TVs and older TVs have a million or so pixels (720p). More recent models of 49 inches (and smaller) have a little over 2 million pixels (1080p). Those that are 50 inches and above have 8 million (for 4K Ultra HD). And the most iconic, largest and extremely expensive TVs have over 33 million pixels (8K).
And to see any difference between the latter two, 4K and 8K, you really need to look closely because it’s very hard to notice any difference at the distance you usually watch TV.
But we have yet to talk about Ultra HD, well, both 4K and Ultra HD (or UHD) use the very same resolution. TVs with Ultra HD Blu-ray and nearly all UHD streaming content from Netflix, Amazon, and similar services have 3,840x2,160 resolution.
Along with resolution, there is another important ingredient in picture quality.
High on the list of things to look out for is the high dynamic range (HDR) performance.
Why would you want a 4K set-top box when you could have a 4K Smart TV set?
Well, for one, it’s a much more economical option. Oftentimes TVs labeled as “smart” are priced at a premium just because of that label. Buying a non-smart (or dumb) TV and then adding one of these set-top boxes could dramatically reduce the cost of your entertainment system. This is because most set-top boxes cost around $100, which is far less than the premium you would pay for buying a smart TV compared to a dumb one.
Nowadays the most common resolution, which you can find for new TVs, is 4K. Although resolution is not the main characteristic you need to look out for when buying a set-top box, it is nonetheless important. But if you do not have a 4K TV yet, it is best to choose a 4K set-top box because the price of Full HD and UHD set-top boxes are almost the same. Having such a device will be relevant for years to come.