I wasn’t really in the market for a new TV, but like so many others, I got suckered into buying a huge one on Black Friday. I was lured by the low, low prices, but also the idea of having a super-sharp 65-inch Sony television that would be ready for the next wave of content in 4K.
Well, there’s not very much of it right now, so the joy of 4K is an elusive one.
I found that if you subscribe to the highest tier of Netflix, you have access to a handful of 4K shows and movies. Unfortunately, it’s nothing to get too excited about. "Fuller House" sucks just as much at four times the resolution of HD.
Amazon Prime also has some 4K content, the most interesting being the two seasons of "Red Oaks," a great show I probably wouldn’t have started if not for the high resolution. Hulu is also diving into the 4K game, and the latest video game consoles support it, too.
However, it’s going to be a long time before regular TV, cable or satellite catches up. For now, that means HD content is "upscaled," but trust me, it’s not the same thing.
In fact, while 4K content does look glorious up close, it’s less discernible when sitting on the couch. It’s an amazing picture, but it doesn’t feel quite as amazing as it does on the showroom floor.
And that’s why, until Black Friday, I thought now was a dumb time to buy a TV. Yeah, they’re super cheap, but they tout a format that almost no one can enjoy. On the other hand, to find a 65-70 inch TV for less than $1,000? It’s almost too good to pass up.
In fact, I did a little math in my head as I stood, wavering, at Best Buy. I had my last TV for more than eight years, and amortized over that time, it was a reasonable purchase. This one, $500 less than my previous television, should theoretically last that long or longer. With full wireless Internet connectivity, it’s as close as "future proof" as possible.
Some new stuff is on the way, too. The NBA streamed a live 4K game between the Jazz and the Nuggets on DirecTV on Saturday. YouTube lived streamed something called the Game Awards in 4K last week. And most importantly, "Black Mirror" is in 4K on Netflix. Maybe there’s more around the corner.
Or maybe I’m just rationalizing a totally superfluous purchase. That’s pretty much the conundrum any early adopters faces. I think I can live with my decision to buy now. Can you?
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