The 411 on 4K in 2022 (for You)

Are you fuzzy on how to watch 4K HD TV? We can clear things up.

Now that 4K technology is becoming the new standard for TV resolution, and TV providers carry more 4K TV channels and on-demand content, you probably have questions. What are the best 4K TVs? Which 4K streaming service is best?

Our TV experts have the answers for you in this condensed version of our article, Your Guide to Watching 4K HD in 2022.

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Is it worth buying a 4K TV?

Absolutely! There’s more 4K content available now than ever before—and we’re even seeing 8K content. And almost all new TVs, streaming devices, and Blu-ray players support 4K resolution—and you can get a positively sweet 4K TV for less than $700 now.

What does it mean if a TV is 4K?

“4K TV” means that the TV is capable of displaying 4K resolution, but only if the source media (live TV broadcasts, streaming media, physical media, video games, etc.) is also 4K. If not, the TV will play the media in its original resolution (standard- or high-definition). For additional information, read Your Guide to Watching 4K in 2022.

My TV says 4K Ultra HD or UHD—are those the same as 4K?

Yes, but there is a slight difference: 4K is the terminology for the cinema standard (4096 x 2160 pixels), and 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels) is the consumer-facing term. We explain further in the full version of this guide.

A diagram showing the difference between full HD and 4K Ultra HD resolution.
While full HD has 1920 x 1080 pixels, 4K Ultra HD has a minimum of 3840 × 2160 pixels.

What are the best 4K TVs?

Our pick for the best overall 4K smart TV is the Samsung QN90A, but we recommend other TVs from LG (best picture), Hisense (best under $1,000), and Hisense (best under $700) in our 4K TV Buyer’s Guide.

What are the best 4K cable and satellite TV providers?

DISH is our pick for the best overall TV provider and the best TV provider for families, and its Hopper DVRs support 4K. We also recommend DIRECTV (best for sports), Verizon Fios (best value), Spectrum (cheapest), and YouTube TV (best for streaming).

What are the best 4K streaming services?

Netflix received our Editor’s Choice Award for best overall on-demand streaming TV service, and it boasts many titles in 4K UHD—but you’ll need Netflix Premium ($19.99 a month) to watch them.

See our full guide to watching 4K HD to learn why Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, and Hulu + Live TV  are also solid 4K options.

What are the best 4K streaming devices?

We prefer the affordable Roku Ultra (regularly $90–$95 but frequently less than $70). If you’ve already tried the Roku Ultra, the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and Apple TV 4K are all great devices that support 4K.

What do I need to view 4K media?

To watch TV in 4K, you’ll need a 4K TV (obviously), 4K content, a 4K streaming device, 4K Blu-ray player, a 4K–compatible HDMI cable, and a fast internet connection. You can find more details in Your Guide to Watching 4K HD in 2022.

Is 4K TV better than LED?

LED and 4K TV are two elements of picture quality. LED is your TV’s display type, just like OLED, QLED, Neo-QLED, ULED, et cetera. It’s how your TV forms a picture and displays colors. Resolution is what we’re talking about with 4K—and it’s all about detail.

How do I know if I’m watching 4K?

The naked eye can tell the difference between HD (1080p) and 4K resolution if you have a 50” TV or larger. But to confirm that you’re watching in 4K, make sure you’re watching 4K content (either a 4K broadcast, stream, or Blu-ray) on a 4K TV. Also ensure that your smart TV resolution is set to 4K.

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