As an owner of a flat-screen television, I have been feeling increasingly frustrated with my current TV’s performance. I began to do some research to try and determine if I should upgrade to either a Smart TV or a 4K TV. After a lot of trial and error, I am here to share my experience and the solutions I discovered. In this blog post, I will discuss the differences between Smart TVs and 4K TVs, and which one I ultimately decided was the better option for me.
A Smart TV is a feature that allows the TV to be connected directly to the internet while a 4K TV means that the screen has a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. The two features are standalone ones and can co-exist within the same TV, which is one of the most popular combinations nowadays.
What Does a Smart TV Mean?
A Smart TV is a feature that allows regular TV to be connected to the internet directly without needing a special device to be connected, which is why it’s also called connected TV or CTV.
In these devices, the TV will usually have an operating system loaded on its firmware, which allows access to various digital content and features, such as apps, media, and more.
Smart TVs nowadays also come with various additional features that allow them to detect and optimize their settings depending on the connected devices, whether they’re set-top boxes, consoles, media players, etc.
What Does a 4K TV Mean?
4K TV describes the resolution of a TV, which is the amount of vertical and horizontal pixels that are found within the TV screen.
Ideally, the higher the number of pixels in a TV, the higher the image quality is going to be and the clearer small and far objects will be detailed, depending on the source media of course.
4K TVs resolution on product specifications is usually shown as (3,840 x 2,160). This means that there are 3,840 pixels on the horizontal plane and 2,160 pixels on the vertical plane, which gives them a total number of 8,294,400 pixels.
Such a TV has a higher resolution than a Full HD TV, which is often known as “1080p”, as it has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels with a total of 2,073,600 pixels. They’re also half the resolution of the 8K TVs, which are still relatively new to the market.
As you can see, 4K TVs have 4 times the resolution of Full HD TV, hence the name. The name is also derived from the approximation of the number of horizontal pixels in each display resolution.
Is a 4K TV the Same As a UHD TV?
4K TVs and UHD TVs are sometimes used interchangeably to describe the same resolution. However, they’re not exactly the same.
This is because UHD describes a resolution that is upscaled and rounded up to display at 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, but they still fall slightly short when compared to native 4K TVs.
Should I Go for a Smart TV or a 4K Regular TV?
As you can see from the descriptions of both TVs, these features are not in conflict with each other.
In other words, you can simply go for a Smart TV that has a 4K resolution, which usually grants you a great TV experience in terms of image quality and functionality.
However, if you’re stuck between a regular TV with 4K resolution or a Full HD Smart TV, you should always prioritize the resolution and go for the 4K.
This is because there are many devices out there that can turn your 4K TV into a smart one that is capable of connecting to the internet, but you can’t make up for the lower resolution.
Additional Aspects to Keep in Mind While Buying a New TV
In addition to Smart TV and 4K resolution, there are some other aspects to keep in mind while buying a TV.
This includes aspects like the size of the screen as well as the operating system that it uses. It’s highly recommended to go for Android TVs because they offer the widest range of apps and features.
There are some other features that also contribute to the overall viewing experience, such as OLED displays that offer unmatched contrast ratio, and a high refresh rate, which is particularly essential for gaming.
Pros of Smart TVs:
- Access to a wide range of digital content and features
- Ability to detect and optimize settings depending on connected devices
- Instant access to streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and more
Cons of Smart TVs:
- Potential security risks due to connection to the internet
- Possible compatibility issues with certain apps
- Potential bugs due to the operating system
Pros of 4K TVs:
- High image quality and clarity with 4 times the resolution of Full HD
- Better viewing experience for long distances
- Compatible with the latest content and devices
Cons of 4K TVs:
- High cost for 4K TVs compared to regular TVs
- Higher power consumption
- Requires a large amount of digital content to take advantage of the resolution
With that said, you now know more about the differences between Smart TVs and 4K ones. As you can see, each one of the features has its own advantages and the most popular TVs nowadays will include the two features for a premium viewing experience.
However, there are other features that you may also want to consider while getting a TV, so make sure you include them as key buying points while selecting your ideal model.
Read more: How to sync multiple TVs