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Q&A with Marc Saltzman
The Costco Connection
P.O. Box 34088
Seattle, WA 98124-1088
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“Marc Saltzman Q&A”
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will answer selected ques-
tions in this column. We
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a leading high-tech
to more than three
on radio and TV, and is
the author of 15 books.
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IT’S BEEN 86 years since Idaho farm boy Philo T.
Farnsworth successfully demonstrated the first
“moving pictures” transmission. Little did the humble inventor of television know that we’d still be staring at the fruits of his labor well into the 21st
century—though 2014 models bear little resemblance to the 3-inch flickering black-and-white box
first shown in 1928.
Today’s televisions are huge and extremely thin,
offering a wide-screen presentation somewhat like
that at your local movie theater. They’ve also evolved
from standard-definition to sharper high-definition
screens, not to mention adding 3D images, Internet
connectivity and new ways to interface with the set,
including support for gesture and voice commands.
How much better can it get, you ask?
To quote popular ’70s rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
Introducing 4K TV
“4K” is all the buzz in next-generation television
technology. This refers to the fact that these new
TVs have a horizontal resolution of 4,000 pixels—
the little dots that make up an image.
Instead of a screen with roughly 2 million pixels,
these televisions boast more than 8 million pixels. For
techies out there, we’re talking 3840 x 2160 resolution.
In plain English, 4K TVs present images so lifelike and clear that it’s like peering out a giant window.
There’s a greater sense of depth, so consider it as
close to 3D as you can get without needing
to wear special glasses. Sometimes
referred to as “ultra high-definition,” or “UHD” for short, 4K
TVs are larger than regular
HDTVs, on average. Typically,
they start at 50 inches and go
up to 85 inches.
Because the pixels are so
small, you can sit as close to
an 85-inch 4K TV as you can
to a 46-inch 1080p HDTV—
and still not see any imperfections in the picture (such as dots
or lines). This technology presents
images with a wide array of super-sharp
colors and unprecedented contrast ratios
(with super-dark blacks).
Also, these TVs are more energy efficient than
other TV panel types and have
the thin profile we’ve come to
appreciate over the past cou-
ple of years.
Naturally, prices are
higher for 4K TVs than for
HDTVs because of this new
technology, but they are
already starting to drop as
more players enter this space.
What to watch?
You might be asking
yourself, “OK, so where’s the
On-demand video services
such as You Tube and Sony Video
Unlimited already offer 4K content, and Netflix has announced it
will soon start streaming 4K video. A
couple of 4K media players are available, such as a special hard drive that can
play back 4K movies, and 4K Blu-ray Discs
are in the works, too.
TV stations here aren’t broadcasting in 4K
just yet; Japan will be the first nation to push 4K to
compatible televisions, beginning with the 2014
FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer. (As of press
time, it was unknown if World Cup games would be
broadcast in 4K in the U.S.)
You can also create your own 4K con-
tent. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and
Galaxy S5, for example, can shoot
4K video, as can Sony’s AX100
Finally, be aware that
your 4K TV can also “up-
convert” existing HD con-
tent into near 4K quality
when paired with a Blu-ray
player that offers 4K up-con-
version. While it doesn’t look
quite as striking as source
material recorded with a 4K cam-
era, it looks significantly better
than 1080p HD video.
As you can see, picking up an ultra high-definition 4K TV future-proofs your home theater
investment. After all, aren’t you worth it? C
More in archives
On Costco.com, enter “Connection”;
at Online Edition, search
Here’s the next
big thing in TV
Costco carries the
new-generation 4K TVs from
leading manufacturers in the
warehouses and at Costco.com.
TVs purchased at Costco come with
a second-year warranty and free
tech support through Costco
In our digital editions:
Watch a video about the new ultra
high-definition TVs. (Details on page 13.)