Featuring a 4096 x 2160 resolution, these ultra-high definition projectors have 4x the number of pixels of 1080p projectors.
Their display is even smoother and more lifelike than the best HD projectors on the market today. Colors are more saturated. Frame rates higher.
We've seen 4K in action. The display is so good; it's like looking through a window. Probably better, depending on which window you're looking out.
Sounds awesome, right? You want to buy four right now, you say? Well, hold your horses. Finding a 4K projector or 4K content isn't an easy task.
Things to Consider With 4K
Two of the most important things to consider if you plan on savoring some sweet 4K content are:
- 1.) How far away you'll be sitting from the screen
- 2.) The size of the screen you'll be looking at
The chart below provides a good visual explanation of why this is important.
Unless you're willing to sit with your face just a few feet away from the screen, you'll need a large screen (100"+) to truly appreciate resolution this high. For example, if you were to view 4K content on a measly 60" flat screen TV you would need to sit less than a body length away from the display to notice a difference (Mom would be so mad)! Of course, with a projector, we are not limited to such puny size screens.
4K is Still Pretty Expensive
Update (Jan 2015): Well, it looks as if things are moving along nicely! Sony just released a home theater 4K projector with a price tag that won't cause you to mortgage your home. Check out the Sony VPL-VW350ES projector with true 4k resolution, available now for less than $10,000.
Compared to a $25,000 price tag for an 85" 4K TV, this is a no-brainer.
More manufacturers have 4K projectors in the works, our sources say. Like any technology, it's just a matter of time before it becomes widely available and more affordable. We will keep an up-to-the-minute list of all our ultra high definition products on our 4K projectors page.
At the moment the most affordable 4K projector available is the Sony VPL VW350ES
We are confident that 4K will revolutionize home theater. But it's not yet a viable or affordable technology for most consumers.
We remember HD and 3D's growing pains. Heck, even today you can only get authentic native 1080p content from a Blu-ray disc, but it's still the most popular resolution on the home theater market today. Sadly, standard definition content is the default service package with most cable companies. It's going to talk a while, but we'll get there.
Obstacles to a 4K World
There are several barriers preventing 4K from going mainstream right now.
- Surprisingly, there is still an ongoing debate about what can actually be called 4K. Many (TV) manufacturers are labeling 2K resolutions as 4K UHD.
- If you're looking to stream 4K content, you need to have at least 14Mbps of constant bandwidth. That's tough to come by in many parts of the US and will likely require a re-working of installed cable networks.
- Lack of physical content as well. While 4k Blu-rays will start appearing more often in 2015, most TV shows today are filmed in 1080p.
- Cost. While we hate to admit it, there are a lot of people out there that are still buying TVs instead of projectors. Because consumers are demanding larger screens, it costs manufacturers more to produce and ship this relatively new technology.
4K Projector Q&A
We asked some of our Facebook and Twitter friends what they wanted to know about 4K projectors. Here's a Q and A.
- Where can I get 4K content?
- Will 4K projectors require more lumens than HD or XGA projectors?
- Will I have to buy new HDMI cables for my 4K projector?
- When will they be less than $3,000?
- I want amazing images now! What should I get?
We have two words for those looking for 4K content: Good luck. Kidding, kidding. Sony's new 4k digital media player comes pre-loaded with 10 movies and promises that more are on the way. There are also rumors that the Sony PS4 will serve as a 4K player and that Netflix is planning a 4K streaming service. But are these services and players native 4K content or just an upscaled Blu-ray? That's another question. There are only a few video cameras on the market today capable of filming 4K content, and they're not cheap.
Lumens are lumens. They're measured by the projector's output and are not affected by image resolution. A 5,000 lumen XGA projector will be the same brightness as a 5,000-lumen 4K projector.
Today's HDMI 1.4 specification cables are cable of supporting 4K content without issue. If you have a 'High Speed' HDMI cable, you're fine.
No worries, we've got you covered. You can still get jaw-dropping HD images on a big screen with any of our top home theater projectors.
Stay up to date on 4K projector technology and releases
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