What is 4K streaming?

by | Jun 28, 2021

Your favorite shows are starting to be shot in 4K.
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Ever look at a TV with visuals that practically leap of the screen and think, “Wow, that’s crisp?”

That’s 4K resolution, baby.

4K TVs are beginning to dominate the television marketplace because they offer super sharp visuals, clear details, and smooth video performance. 4K content is also on the upswing. Filmmakers are beginning to shoot in 4K and major streaming brands, like Netflix and Amazon, are starting to offer 4K streaming.

4K basics

4K” refers to a resolution of about 4,000 pixels, an increase in pixel density about four times what HD can offer. With more pixels, you’re less likely to see the pixel structure and instead experience super clear and sharp image quality. For that reason, 4K is also known as ultra-high definition (UHD) or 4K UHD.

Of course, the impact of 4K all depends on the size of your television screen and how far away you view it from. If you’re sitting too far away from a smaller 4K screen it will be a similar experience to watching TV on a HD screen.

What is 4K streaming?

To take advantage of your 4K TV, you need content that matches up.  Some cable channels are beginning to offer 4K, but the options are limited. Fortunately, streaming services can make up the difference.

Netflix leaned into 4K back in 2014, when they decided to film all their original content in 4K, shortly followed by Amazon Prime Video. Since then, multiple streaming platforms offer 4K content, including  Disney+, HBO Max, and Hulu. You can also stream YouTube videos in 4K.

To stream 4K, you need a fast internet connection, like Quantum Fiber Internet.

What you need to for 4K streaming

To take advantage of all that crispy 4K goodness, you need hardware that’s compatible.

A 4K TV

Fortunately, 4K TVs are getting more and more affordable. And 4K TVs can upscale non-4K content, making it look almost like the real thing. Most TVs these days are already smart, so you may be able to forego a streaming device with the right one.

A streaming device

To stream 4K, you’ll need a streaming device that is 4K compatible and works with your streaming platform of choice. Not every streaming platform works with every device when it comes to 4K. For example, Disney+ is compatible with Xbox 1 and Playstation 4, in addition to many other streaming sticks and 4K smart TVs. HBO Max, on the other hand, only works with a handful of devices. Make sure you have the right set up for the service you want to use before you get started.

Many TVs come in 4K and some are even have 8K technology.

The right internet speed

To coincide with the quadrupling of pixel density, 4K content is also four times the size of HD content. And it’s much heavier. 4K files need more bandwidth and data than the typical HD show or movie. Unless you have an internet connection and a gateway that can handle 4K streaming, it could bog down your network and slow your household down.

So, what’s the right internet speed for 4k streaming? Each 4K stream needs a minimum of 25 Mbps to enjoy the high-quality images without buffering.

That’s where Quantum Fiber Internet comes in. With unlimited data, upload/download speeds of up to 940 Mbps, plenty of bandwidth, and an advanced wireless modem, Quantum Fiber can support your 4K streaming for multiple devices.

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The future of 4K

8K TVs are already on the market, so what does that mean for 4K? Well, 8K content is even more limited than 4K and the hardware is expensive. For now, 4K streaming can offer the amazing cinematic experience you want to see from your couch.

We want to hear from you! What movies or shows look great in 4K? Share them with us in the comments below.

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