Four times sharper than HD: New 4K TVs explained

Samsung launched its 4K consumer TVs at CES in Las Vegas this month. Photo: Reuters

LG, Samsung and Sony have all used the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show to launch new 4K televisions - but what's all the fuss about?

'4K' or 'Ultra HD' is a screen resolution which has been limited, until now, to high-end cinemas.

Consumers will soon be able to own a television which displays twice as many lines of pixels as a full HD TV, and four times as many lines as old standard definition screens.

But with four times as many pixels in total, 4K screens are initially expected to be priced at up to 20 times the cost of HD units.

How they compare:

  • 4K: 3840 pixels wide x 2160 pixels high
  • 1080p 'Full' HD: 1920 x 1080
  • 720p HD: 1280 x 720
  • Standard definition (SD): 720 x 576

Launched at CES

  • Sony
Sony's 84 inch KD-84X9005 is currently available for around £25,000. Credit: Sony

Sony unveiled two 4K LED models with 55 and 65 inch screen sizes to be launched in the Spring.

The company also said 4K versions of existing film titles should be available to download in time for the release of the new televisions.

  • Samsung
Samsung's Joe Stinziano debuts the company's new 85" Ultra High Definition television. Credit: Reuters

Samsung launched an enormous 85 inch 'floating' TV which supports the 4K resolution, although said it had no plans to sell 4K content, instead 'up-scaling' HD films.

  • LG
Twitter_profile_iconjpg_normal

55, 65 & 84" LG Ultra def TV's (Bedroom, Lounge and Game/Cinema room!?!) ;) #2013CES #LG2013CES http://t.co/SOd6uy9c

LG tweeted this photograph of its new 4K models.

LG's 4K offerings include 55, 65 and 84 inch models.

Its largest screen, which went on sale last year, costs around $20,000 (£13,000) and although the company did not reveal the price for the smaller 55 inch version, it is expected to cost under $10,000 (£6,200).