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Why owning a 4K Blu-ray player is both smart and stupid

I love watching movies. A controversial and brave statement, I know.

Anyway, since the end of last year, this habit has accelerated. It’s hard to know why. Maybe it’s because I started my own movie-tracking spreadsheet, maybe it’s because of the Netherlands’ Cineville card, or maybe, just maybe, it’s because of my 4K Blu-ray player.

Yes, you read that correctly, my preferred way to watch movies on my sofa is with a — whisper it now — disc.

And in the spirit of everything moving picture related, this whole piece is also a video — something you can watch above. In it — and this article — I’m going to go through why I adore the 4K Blu-ray format, my player of choice, and why this decision is both smart and stupid.

[Read: 4 ridiculously easy ways you can be more eco-friendly]

To achieve this, we’re going to dive-in and define some technical terms. Because if we’re going to talk about the benefits of watching a 4K Blu-ray over its most obvious competitor (AKA streaming) we need to get an overview of what this is all about.

First off, quality.

What actually is 4K?

Without getting too weighed down, 4K is a display resolution. I’ve written about this in more detail here, but I’ll sum it up quickly for the sake of the article.

Resolution is simply the number of pixels a screen can show, something that translates directly to the level of detail a picture has. Normally, this is described by stating the number of pixels across the screen‘s width and height respectively.

For example, the 1080p resolution is for screens that display 1,920 pixels horizontally and 1,080 vertically. But what about 4K? Well, without getting mixed up with cinema formats, 4K for the home user is a screen that displays 3,840 pixels horizontally and 2,160 vertically.

This means it has four times as many pixels than a 1080p screen (which was the old HD standard).