TV Answer Man
a 4K TV Improve a HD Picture?
Washington, D.C. (March 30, 2013)
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Q. I know that there
isn't much 4K content out there which is a good reason why NOT
to buy a 4K TV. But can't a 4K TV upconvert a normal HD picture
so it looks better -- better meaning closer to a 4K picture? --
Adam, St. Louis, Missouri
That's a great question, Adam. For starters, you are right.
There isn't much 4K content available if you buy a 4K TV, which
right now would cost anywhere from
$40,000. No TV
channels are broadcasting in 4K and there aren't any discs or
streaming available in 4K.
Sony is bundling a free 4K player with its 4K TVs;
will include 10 movies in 4K But that's about it.
So why buy a 4K TV, you ask? Well, 4K TVs and projectors come
with what's called an 'upconvert' feature that promises to take
your HD picture to a higher quality level, something closer to a
If you recall, a similar upconvert feature has been in DVD and
Blu-ray players for some time; it purports to improve the
standard-definition picture of a DVD so it looks more like a
Does it work? I haven't seen it tested yet on a 4K TV so I can't
offer a first-hand assessment. (Note: CNET was underwhelmed when it tested
the upconvert feature on Sony's 84-inch 4K set.) However,
I will say that the DVD upconvert feature does offer some
improvement in a standard-definition picture, although not as
much as some CE companies would like you to believe.
So we're going to have to wait on this question. Perhaps when
a less expensive
4K set and/or I win the lottery,
I can give one a full workout at home.
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