Lately we can find amazing deals for Ultra HD television sets (or 4K, as they are named) in stores. The price for these versions has suddenly dropped and as a result a large number of Smart TVs 3D Ultra HD cost as much as the ones which have a classic resolution Full-HD.
But what does Ultra HD or 4K exactly mean? We are talking about the TV’s screen resolution, the total number of horizontal and vertical lines of pixels to be more exact.
For a Full-HD TV with a 1920 x 1080 resolution we have 1920 horizontal lines of pixels and 1080 vertical ones.
For Ultra HD TVs we have 3840 x 2160 lines so there is a significant progress. But is 4K the same as Ultra HD? No. Technically 4K means a resolution of 4096 x 2160 and it is not available on marketed TVs yet; it can only be found on certain recording devices (as cameras) and it should be regarded as a standard manufacturers want to achieve.
The good news is that Ultra HD is more than enough to satisfy the human eye and there is very little difference between 4K and Ultra HD. For marketing purposes some manufacturers use the term Ultra HD 4k, while others only use Ultra HD.
Why is Ultra HD better than Full HD?
As the number of lines grows larger so does the number of pixels. Therefore we get impeccable details, a very clear image and a desirable viewing experience. For Ultra HD the human eye cannot notice the small dots (the pixels) anymore regardless the distance we watch TV and any object on the screen no matter how small can be seen in perfect detail. Obviously the material we watch should be recorded on an identical resolution, specifically we need Ultra HD content which is still not that popular, although we are pretty certain that in the way technologies evolved we will soon have plenty resources, starting from films, series up to television stations that will emit in this resolution.
The gamers will be extremely satisfied by Ultra HD TVs as well especially if they have a computer powerful enough to support all the latest games which came into market lately and which can be played on such a high resolution.
Large sized photos can be seen perfectly up to the smallest detail too on such a TV. All the manufacturers offer competitive models on the Smart TV 3D Ultra HD segment: Sony, Samsung, LG, Phillips and Sharp. We stop to discuss to models today which have very good characteristics and benefit from substantial price reductions which place them in the top of the cheapest Ultra HD quality televisions.
The first Ultra HD TV to discuss is Philips UltraHD 40PUS6809 .
We know that Philips is not as popular as Samsung or Sony as a TV manufacturer but this model got our interest. Having a 40 inch (102 cm) diagonal it is optimum if we are talking about a viewing distance of 2.7 – 3.5 metres.
Asides from the Ultra HD screen resolution, Philips 40PUS6809 comes with a 3D option included for the amateurs (and it also comes with two pairs of 3D glasses) and with 400 HZ for reducing image issues on fast movements.
At the same time this is a Smart TV which uses a Dual-Core processor for running applications and has a Wi-Fi integrated for internet connections. CI + is not missing either, nor does the 20 W sound or the multimedia on an integrated USB.
We like the Philips 40PUS6809 because:
- It has a great image quality and a bright screen which captures more details than other competitors
- The design of this model is very good and we believe it fits any kind of furniture
- The price is unbeatable for an Ultra HD 3D and a Smart TV produced in 2014 by a well-known brand.
We don’t like the Philips 40PUS6809 Smart 3D Tv set because:
- The colours are slightly forced especially when the TV is set on the dynamic mode (for sports or gaming)
- The media-player does not recognise video files’ formats or the afferent subtitles very well
- For a Smart TV it is not as fast as its rivals from Samsung or LG and there are frequent lags or it freezes on this mode.
The second Ultra HD TV which got our attention is the Samsung 40HU6900 UltraHD TV.
It was only fair to talk about Samsung because this brand is extremely popular and dominates the phones and TVs markets among others.
Samsung 40HU6900 has a similar diagonal to the Philips version, the 101 cm being (as we mentioned above) more than enough for most of us as we are not talking about huge living rooms. The design does not go out from the lines Samsung got us used to and probably the image is the only element which betrays the fact that we are talking about a more special TV.
This model has a good quality image, the colours and the black tones are natural but this appliance has some issues at the brightness chapter. Compared to its Philips rival, Samsung 40HU6900 has only 200HZ dedicated for reducing fast image issues or for running the image from left to right, where it usually displays a bothering effect for 50 or 100 Hz models (we are talking about another type of HZ and not about the frequency which can be found written on the back of the TVs).
This version does not include a 3D feature and it is only a Smart TV but against the Philips model the way this Samsung acts as a Smart TV makes us forget that it lacks the option.
Apps are running fast (probably the Quad-Core processor helps to some extent), the media player easily recognises any video files or subtitles (even the Ultra HD materials) and aided by the Smart Control remote (point and click type) you can easily access any information on the screen (we have talked about the remote here as well).
Because we are talking about a Samsung we are also implying it has a slightly higher price.
We like the Samsung 40HU6900 because:
- The displayed colours are natural and the black levels are enough and satisfactory for the normal user
- As a Smart TV it acts decent enough: the apps run smoothly, the Wi-Fi connection is stable and the point-and-click remote control allows us to commute between apps or to access information from web pages fast and easy
- The USB media-player runs well any type of video format (including HEVC Ultra HD)
- It has a lot of options to connect to other Samsung devices (tablets, smartphones)
- It has a football image and sound mode for the fans of the sport.
We do not like Samsung 40HU6900 because:
- The brightness is not as good as the Ultra HD model from Philips
- It does not include the 3D option
- The price is higher compared to the Philips 40PUS6809
Of course these are not the only models which include these characteristics and if we search enough we might be able to find other Ultra HD TVs which have a good link between their qualities and prices. The two models we have discussed presented an interest to us due to their great characteristics and their acceptable price as they are last generation technology.