4K resolution is the biggest trend in TV technology in recent years. Almost every TV brand has kept up with this trend and has a 4K offering in their TV lineup. 4K’s superior image quality can leave you wondering if your TV has that capability.
If you’ve purchased your TV in the last three years, there’s a strong possibility that it has a 4K resolution. This is because the majority of TV sales in recent years are 4K.
What is a 4K Resolution TV?
A 4K resolution TV, also called UHD or Ultra-HD, has roughly double the number of pixels that a 1080p TV has.
4K TVs are sold more often than any other type of TV, and they’re becoming rapidly affordable.
When Did 4K TVs Come Out?
The first 4K TVs started hitting the market around 2012. However, TV and streaming providers only started ramping up the amount of 4K programming and content in the last few years.
Here’s how to know if your TV is 4K:
Check Your TV’s Manual
If you have an old TV, you most probably lost all the packaging and papers of that TV. However, if you have a new TV, you most likely know where to find the manual. Once you’ve located the manual, start looking for clues as to its resolution.
Most of the time, the TV resolution will be listed on the front page of the manual. If it isn’t on the front page, look for a section or page called “Specifications” or “Device Information.” Of course, you will always find a full list of specifications somewhere within the owner’s manual.
If you misplaced your owner’s manual, you can still tell whether or not your TV is 4K by checking online. You can do this by going to your TV manufacturer’s website and checking your TV’s resolution within a short time.
You can also find your TV’s owner’s manual by searching online. If you’ve misplaced your owner’s manual, it’s always a good idea to download a new one to refer to it in case anything goes wrong.
Your TV’s Menu Screen Can Help
You can sometimes find your TV’s specs and information using the TV itself. Here’s how you can do it:
- Turn on your TV.
- Look for an option with one of these words; specs, device information, about, or general.
It’s best to remember that different TVs have different menu layouts; therefore, it might take a few tries to find the right spot. However, you’ll be able to confirm whether or not your TV is 4K with this method.
Sometimes your TV might say “HDR,” which means 4K.
Use 4K Images
If you still can’t tell whether or not your TV is 4K, some manual effort can help you get an answer. You can download some photos in 4K and full HD resolution, which is 3840*2160 and 1920*1080, respectively.
Once you’ve downloaded the photos, transfer them to the TV and open them one by one. Please start with the 4K photos, check whether they cover the entire screen, and repeat the same with the HD photos. If a full HD photo opens with borders around it, then your TV is full HD, not 4K.
You can always call your 4K support TV customer care if the above methods fail. You can Google the customer care number followed by your TV brand and dial the number. They will answer your query and concerns.
How to Tell if YouTube is Playing in 4K
If you like watching YouTube on your 4K TV, you might wonder whether the content you’re watching is coming through in a 4K HDR.
It’s best to ensure that the content you’re playing is 4K content. Once you find something to play, hit pause, click on more (which can be found on the three vertical dots on the left), and finally, select stat for nerds.
A screen with all different data points should pop up. Once it does, remember that you’re looking for “color” and want to see “bt2020.” If you see bt2020, you’re watching 4K YouTube videos because bt2020 is the color range standard for HDR.
You can also hit Pause, click More, and then Quality. It should say 4K, and the video quality should be 2160p 4K.
Why is My 4K TV not Playing in 4K?
It can be very frustrating if you have a 4K TV but find out that nothing you watch or stream is displaying in 4K.
Generally speaking, just because you have a 4K screen does not mean everything you watch will be in 4K. Whether or not your 4K TV plays media in 4K depends on the following factors:
The Setting on Your TV
Many 4K TVs have defaults that set the picture quality to 1080p. This setting happens because many streaming services and cable providers still deliver content in 1080p; therefore, a 1080p default setting makes sense for many users.
If your 4K TV is underperforming, it’s best to check the default picture settings.
The Broadcast or Streaming Quality of What You’re Watching
If your streaming service or satellite provider doesn’t deliver 4K content, you’ll be watching in 1080p, regardless of how much you spent on your 4K TV.
The Type of Cables
The type of cables you use to hook your TV to your cable box, gaming console, or Blu-ray player will determine whether or not your TV will play in 4K. If you aren’t using 4K-compatible cables, the picture quality coming from these connected devices will be limited.
The solutions above will help you tell whether your TV is 4K. Remember that you can always call customer support for your TV manufacturer to help when in doubt.