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Hey Dixons, there still aren’t any 4K Ultra HD TV channels

High street giant DSG Retail has been rapped on the knuckles for misleading punters about the capabilities of LG 4K Ultra HD TVs. 

The TV ad, which ran over Christmas 2014, stated that 4K TV sets would let viewers watch their favourite Christmas movies in greater detail, without explaining exactly what the improvement would be. 

Dixons’s ad said: “These smart LG TVs start at £849, and because they’re 4K Ultra HD, you can watch your favourite Christmas movies in greater detail.” 

Smart TVs like LG’s 49UB850V, which you can snap up now for £849, do upscale Full HD content, so in that sense the Dixons ad was correct. The beef that complainants held was that this wording was too vague and didn’t explain exactly how the TVs Dixons was selling actually did this. 

Does the 4K Ultra HD badge mean my TV is future proof?A quick search reveals that there have been a few moans about the picture quality of this specific unit. It’s not clear from the ASA’s ruling that this was the TV set DSG Retail was featuring in its ads, but it does highlight the need for caution when shopping around for a new TV. 

Because 4K panels offer four times the number of pixels than a Full HD display, it’s easy to assume that therefore the picture will be four times better. While they may be four times more detailed, there’s also things like colour palette and high dynamic range to consider. 

Whether your TV will let you stream 4K content from Netflix and Amazon is another issue – early adopters who bought certain Sony TVs have had to essentially pay twice to get this feature – as is whether or not your Internet service is good enough to handle Ultra HD streams. 

Even then, the jury is still out on whether or not 4K TV sets sold today will let you watch 4K TV channels once they’re live.

Sky is rumoured to be launching a 4K service later this year. While things like prices for packages haven’t been confirmed, it’d be pretty awful if you shelled out for a new 4K TV now, only to find that it won’t play ball with Ultra HD Premier League footie action. 

The DTG (Digital TV Group) is currently working with the likes of Sky, the BBC and others to help define broadcast standards for 4K Ultra HD. 

Speaking about the ASA ruling, DTG CEO Richard Lindsay-Davies said: “Ultra HD represents an enormous opportunity for the TV industry to take the viewing experience to a level even greater than the leap from standard-def to HD, but exaggerating the offering at an early stage could damage consumer confidence before the true benefits come to fruition.

“The DTG’s UHD Forum is working with broadcasters and TV manufacturers to establish next-generation TV standards for 4K and beyond, collaborating with international bodies, and we are providing advice to retailers to ensure that they can provide consumers with accurate information, satisfying the early adopters who will be the bedrock of future market growth.”

The DTG is currently running a series of 4K plugfests to see how current and forthcoming TV sets, home cinema equipment and development 4K set top boxes work together. The DTG is being tight lipped on what it’s seen in its tests, but we’re expecting to hear more about its work at the 2015 DTG Summit in May. 

Last year we got to see some of Sky’s 4K demo footage in action. While it was impressive in many ways, it was clear that 4K TV wasn’t ready to come out of the oven. 


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