General Question

Patty_Melt's avatar

Help me understand 4k movies?

Asked by Patty_Melt (17519points) June 16th, 2020

I am shopping movies. Some say 4k. I’m ignorant on this subject. If I get a 4k movie, do I have to have a specific dvd player and or tv to use it, or will it work with my regular stuff?
My tv is flat screen, full screen. It has HD, but I’ve had it since 2010, so I don’t remember anything about the HD.
My dvd player is not Blu-ray, it is just a standard player.

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10 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

You have to have a 4k capable tv and set top to watch 4k. If you don’t then it’s a waste. Regular HD won’t show the full resolution. Plain old DVDs are not even HD.

Darth_Algar's avatar

As far as I’m aware 4K is a blu-ray only format, so your old DVD player won’t read the discs. A standard blu-ray player would (unless I’m mistaken), but without a 4K capable player and TV set there’s not much point, as you’re paying extra money for something you’d derive no additional benefit from.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Standard Definition (SD)
= Television before we had HD
= 720×480 pixels (480 lines vertical resolution)
= DVD discs

= 1920×1080 or 1280×720
= Blu Ray discs

4K = Ultra HD
3840 × 2160
= Enhanced Blu Ray discs

The disc players are backwards compatible.
—4K player plays all three
—HD (Blu Ray) player also works with SD discs
—DVD SD player only plays regular SD DVDs.

elbanditoroso's avatar

And an additional point. IF you are streaming (i.e.downloading) then a 4K movie uses something like 8 times the amount of data than a standard download. So you will be using and paying for a lot more useless data.

ucme's avatar

Yes, for 4k, see Ultra HD.
Compatible devices only.

jca2's avatar

I watched a movie last night on Prime that was 4k. It was fine. Maybe not as vivid as it was supposed to be but it was fine. The movie was “The King of Staten Island.”

Patty_Melt's avatar

Thanks. Looks like I’ll pass.

dabbler's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay ‘s answer really puts clearly what is what.

Right now there are not a lot of titles in 4K – I’m surprised they bothered with a movie like “King of Staten Island”

As far as I’m concerned regular DVD (720p) is great, and Blu-Ray is better than enough detail – but hey, I grew up on broadcast analog TV (512 lines interlaced NTSC) and even a crappy low-res youtube is visually superior to any of that.

I do have a 4K TV, but I run a small computer hooked to that for Netflix/Youtube/DVD media center stuff. It’s almost too much resolution as I can’t read a lot tiny text from normal viewing distance – I either have to ‘magnify’ the screen or get up closer to read things.
But at 4K resolution, it is a truly kick-ass photo display monitor. I often see details that I didn’t see when I took the picture.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@dabbler, I agree that @Call_Me_Jay‘s answer is very helpful. It put things in plain workable terms for me. However, your added input will be helpful should I require a new set sometime in the future.
I too grew up with analogue, pre cable television. Remember the twisting involved hoping to get a U channel? It was like a sport!

SEKA's avatar

I don’t jump into the new fangled TV’s and players because I have old eyes and they don’t see in 4K nor HD so it’s a waste of money and time to upgrade my equipment when my own equipment, aka eyes, are still old as the hills. I’m sure that my daughter would be thrilled if we did upgrade, but her dad doesn’t see much better than her mom

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