4K essentially offers four times the resolution of 1080p, so the visual improvement is quite substantial. This improvement has driven the prices of 1080p TVs to outrageous lows as many consumers scramble to possess the latest visual technology.
For that reason alone, you would think the answer to the title question should be obvious. After all, 1080p aka Full HD is slowly being phased out by the 4K, aka Ultra HD (UHD) revolution, with companies such as TCL being one of the first to already offer tech enthusiasts a few 8K options as well. The transition is as unavoidable as was the move from bulky CRT TVs to HD flat panels, and how VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray also evolved organically. In other words, there’s no stopping it.
Despite this inevitability, there are still millions of households where the 1080p TV still stands proud with no intention of being upgraded. Why is that?
In the era of HD content and broadcasting, 1080p has remained the standard the longest and has remained that transitional sweet spot in the ever-changing technological landscape.
Proprietary wars such as 720p HD DVD versus 4k Blu-Ray standards, where Blu-Ray clearly won, made the transition from HDTV to Full HD a pretty quick leap. After that, it took a while for 4K displays to really catch on as the hardware and 4K content just wasn’t there yet.
With the rise of 4K UHD TVs, thanks in part to more available content, streaming services, technology, and hardware catching up, it’s a no brainer for consumers to upgrade their 1080p’s to the latest, advanced visual displays that make your eyes bleed with joy. However, this is still not the case in many households and there’s some very legitimate reasons why.
It’s a well-known fact that the adoption of streaming services in Australia skyrocketed when the NBN was introduced. With improved internet speeds, consumers were given access to almost endless content without having to worry about buffering during their favourite shows. There was a domino effect where the increased bandwidth allowed streaming services to start offering more and more content in 4K.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are close to 11,000,000 homes in Australia and according to Statista.com and the ACCC, there’s approximately 8.5 million of those homes connected to the NBN. That means there’s close to 3 million residences in Australia that do not yet have or cannot get access to the super-fast speeds required to stream 4K content.
So why would you upgrade to a 4K TV if you don’t have access to 4K content? Unless you’re prepared to shell out cash on Blu-ray movies, it makes little sense to upgrade to 4K in this situation.
There’s been a lot of controversy regarding the current generation of gaming consoles and PC gaming hardware. For varying reasons, it’s just been very difficult and expensive to get your hands on something that is going to let you play your games at a cutting-edge level. For this reason, the majority of gamers are still gaming on previous generation hardware such as a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One where the optimal resolution has been 1080p for a couple of generations now. So if you have a TV in your room for dedicated gaming, and you’re still using old hardware, there’s simply no reason to upgrade to Ultra High Definition yet. Currently, this is the majority of gamers in today’s market which keeps Full HD TVs still firmly in relevance.
Let’s be honest. We all know people who don’t even know the difference between Full HD and UHD. They wouldn’t be able to distinguish the disparity if the two displays were sitting side by side in front of them. The bottom line is, they just don’t care. If they’re watching something on a 100-inch 8K UHD panel or on their 6-inch phones, it makes no difference to them, and that’s totally fine.
There are also people who only watch broadcast TV and YouTube, where most content only comes in 1080p resolution or lower anyway. And if you don’t want a TV larger than 40 inches, then there really is no point to having a UHD TV in this circumstance.
If you’re just after a cheap TV for the bedroom, kitchen, or the backyard. Or you own a business like a gym, bar, or café, you’d be hard pressed to find a less expensive and suitable option than a 1080p TV.
Believe it or not, there’s more people and situations like this than you would think, and for that market, a 1080p TV is the ideal mix of convenience and cost effectiveness that is a major reason for Full HD still being relevant in this defacto age of 4K.
If you walked into any store, you would definitely see more 4K TVs being sold than 1080p TVs now as that is the obvious futureproof option. It’s guaranteed that 1080p Full HD will be phased out eventually, just like how home phones and VHS players are extremely hard to find now. However, the fact that Full HDTVs are still being sold indicates that there is still very much a market for them.
As some of the scenarios mentioned above demonstrate, the tried-and-true 1080p TV may not be the cool, new kid on the block, but apart from higher resolution, it still offers the most bang for buck options the majority of consumers who aren’t hardcore cinephiles want.
If this sounds like you, check out our Full HD 1080p TVs that would be the perfect option for the kid’s playroom, kitchen or workshop.