I’ve been writing a lot about 4K television and its extraordinary video quality. The biggest problem with this technology has been the lack of readily available content.
For those who’ve already purchased 4K sets, and those who are thinking about an upgrade, constantly wondering what to watch has been a source of frustration. The list of available content in Canada continues to grow monthly. And while some TV providers are still waiting to jump into the 4K Pool, there’s starting to be enough content out there to make adopting 4K technology worthwhile.
Quick primer: What is 4K?
4K is super-enhanced resolution. In a nut shell thousands more pixels in a 4K TV make the video quality 4 times greater than even HD. The result is superfine detail, gorgeous colours and a more realistic video picture. Read the deeper explanation of 4K here on the blog.
What you need to watch/stream in 4K
In almost all cases, to enjoy this 4K content at home, you’ll need a 4K TV, and a special PVR/DVR from your cable or satellite supplier, or a 4K compatible device like a streaming device or Blu-ray player. Once you have those devices, you’ll need to find the channel(s) where the 4K content is being broadcast. It’s that simple.
Where to find 4K content
Netflix has been a leader in 4K content. House of Cards, Marco Polo, Breaking Bad and Chef’s Table are just some of the shows on Netflix that are filmed in 4K resolution. If you’ve got a 4K TV and high speed internet that can handle the extra bandwidth needed to stream in 4K, you’re in business.
2. Blu-ray Discs
One of the best ways of watching 4K content now is using a new Blu-ray player. For a while, only Samsung had a Blu-ray player that offers true 4K, but Sony later entered the market with its 4K Blu-ray machine. Now Philips and LG is also offering a 4K Blu-ray player too. See a full selection of what’s available here.
YouTube has been another leader in offering video in 4K. It’s actually been offering 4K support for several years.
“According to a spokesperson, 4K uploads tripled last year, and searches for 4K video continue to increase.” Just search “4K” on YouTube, and then toss in a search term like “animals”, “nature” or “underwater” and prepare to be amazed.
For my money, YouTube is one of the best places to experiment with 4K content since there’s lots of it and it’s free.
4. Cable TV
Sports programming is readily available in 4K. TSN on Rogers and Bell is currently offering hockey and Blue Jays Home games in 4K. Some Raptors games have also been offered in 4K.
Bell is also making 4K movies and channels available on its FibeTV service, but plans to offer “a growing library” of 4K content as it comes on line.
Bell’s Discovery Go premium streaming video service announced it was moving into more 4K programming. Discovery GO is now streaming select titles in 4K on Samsung UHD TVs and Discovery Canada is also shooting its drama FRONTIER, starring Jason Momoa (From Game of Thrones fame) in 4K.
TSN is also broadcasting more sports programming in 4K.
“After becoming the first sports network in Canada to produce a live sports event in High Definition, and the launch of TSN HD in 2003, TSN is now proud to bring another historic first to Canadians: TSN4K,” explains TSN in a news release.
The new TSN4K channel is available for Bell and Rogers customers only for now.
To read more about what Canadian cable companies are offering read our in-depth blog “4K Sports, Movies and Events are coming to your cable box”,and for even more info on available programs and channels in 4K read “What’s available to stream in 4K now”.
Since I started writing about the emergence of 4K TVs about two years ago, the content has grown, albeit slowly. There used to be just a couple of shows and movies available in 4K, but it seems every couple months there’s more to add to the list.