DVDs & Blu-ray

What is 4K Definition?

By Andi

4K media is on its way – we've all seen those gorgeous displays that feel like you're looking through a window, but do you know the ins and outs of what makes 4K tick and why you should consider taking the step up?

What does 4K mean?

With TVs and Displays getting bigger and bigger, what started out as a modest 32" display almost a decade ago has been dwarfed by far more typical 50–60"screens that look amazing in our living room. But while the size of the screen we're watching at home has increased, what hasn't increased is the resolution.

You would think that the larger an image, the more detail you could get into it – and typically you'd be right. However when you're buying your DVDs or Blu-rays, the image that they display to your 32" or 60" is at best, a 1080p resolution. Why is why the first wave of 4K technology that we've seen has been in TVs and displays.

These 4K displays operate at a resolution of 3840 x lines (but we'll just round up, because 4K is A LOT easier to say than 3.84K…)

But when you're playing typical DVDs or Blu-ray, you're not getting a more detailed image, you're just stretching the same image over a larger canvas.

That isn't to say your media is going to look better or worse on a 4K display, they simply won't be able to utilise the 4K technology to give you the best image. Better resolution isn't the only benefit from a 4K display either – there's richer colours and faster frame rates, but this differ from model to model so be sure to investigate when you're shopping around.

I have a 4K display and a Blu-ray player, so I'm set to go, right?


Just like the switch between VHS and DVD, or more similarly DVD and Blu-ray, the 4K Blu-ray or ‘Ultra HD Blu-ray’ is not compatible with existing devices and requires its own player – many of which are hitting the market now.

UHD Blu-ray players are backwards compatible with existing Blu-ray and DVDs, but you'll need to specify if you're looking for one that plays 3D content as well.

It's hard to explain why all this hassle is worth it in the long run and the difference between 1080p and 4K is hard to explain to someone that hasn't experienced it themselves. The best description we've come across is that “it's like looking through a window instead of a TV.”

Where to from here?

If you've got the full 4K set up and want to take advantage of it, be sure to get into our ever-growing range of 4K Blu-ray titles! If you're not set up yet, don't worry as each of our 4K titles comes with a standard Blu-ray disc so you can still enjoy your movie now :) With your copy of your favourite films on 4K you'll be set up for the future when 4K technology becomes the standard format.


From the Movie Gorilla

Tags: 4K Blu-ray

1 comment

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  • Christine says: 29 July 2016, 11:40pm

    Thank you for explaining the 4K it was most helpful. cheers