If there is one thing that the technology industry just loves, its buzzwords. Those who work with technology are always creating new jargon that means absolutely nothing to you, yet in around 3 weeks we’re all supposed to know what it all means.
Well it’s time to finish up your understanding of now-relic terms like DVD and PC, because a new generation of acronyms, buzzwords and tech jargon is hitting the street, and you have some catching up to do.
Most of these terms did exist before 2015, but have really grown in popularity over the last year or so.
4K is the latest in impressive resolutions offered by computer monitors and TV sets, and it offers 4 times more pixels than Full-HD. That means a 4K display is capable of displaying 4 times more pixels than a Full-HD display. A Full-HD resolution is 1980×1080, whilst a 4K (or UltraHD) resolution is 3840×2160. This effectively means 4 times more detail, at a staggering 8.2 million pixels.
However a 4K display needs a source that supports 4K to really take advantage. For TVs this means finding a source capable of sending a 4K data-stream to the display. There are no TV channels that support 4K at the time of writing, meaning those who own 4K TV sets will have to make do with the few on-demand services that now offer certain programmes and movies in 4K. But be warned, you’ll also need an Internet connection that can support such high streaming! Another possibility will be getting an UltraHD Blu-ray player, meaning more discs on those shelves!
For computer monitors, you’ll need a graphics card in your computer that can support 4K as well, and again the videos you watch or video games you play will need to support the 3840×2160 resolution to really take advantage.
During 2016, we will be a surge of sources capable of supporting 4K, so those displays will become more useful as the year progresses.
(Also note that 5K is another term that adds extra width to a display, making it 21:9 as opposed to the 16:9 ratio.)
HDR – or high dynamic range – is nothing new for those passionate about their digital photography. But now the term is making its way to both smartphones and TVs.
HOWEVER, the HDR associated with digital photography (which is the same HDR making its way into smartphone photography) is different to the HDR on your TV. They both refer to a similar effect, and they both stand for the same thing, but the technology behind it is very different.
When it comes to digital photography – be in on your digital camera or smartphone camera – HDR refers to the technique of taking multiple images of the same scene. Some over-exposed, some under-exposed, some about right. Those images are then combined using special software to create one single image that has the advantages of all them, but disregards the weak points (overly over/under exposed areas.)
HDR on a TV doesn’t really do that, but it is still referring to creating a higher and more truthfully accurate range of colours to make the resulting video appear more realistic and eye-catching. So basically, TV’s with HDR will look better than those that don’t – so much so that many experts assert that the better colour range associated with HDR is even more important than the resolution (number of pixels) of the TV display!
Yes, that means that a HDR TV may very well look better than the 4K (above) TV!
IoT – the Internet of Things
IoT stands for The Internet of Things, and you will likely encounter both the acronym and the full name quite a bit during 2016. It refers to the future vision of the Internet where everything will be connected to cyberspace, even household objects, and everything will be able to both and receive information from the Internet.
It’s already beginning of course. Now we have cellphones, TVs, cars and children’s toys all capable of going online. But it won’t stop there. Many industry experts predict that practically everything in our houses, from mugs to umbrellas to kettles to microwaves will be Internet connected by default.
In terms of convenience, it will be great. But be warned, both security and privacy experts predict the Internet of Things will have drastic consequences for us, and not always good ones.
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