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If you are buying an ultra-high definition (UHD) TV, you should ensure that you are getting a genuine 4K set, Samsung South Africa has warned.

It said it is cautioning consumers against some branded televisions on the market that are not true UHD.

According to Samsung, the International Committee for Display Metrology (ICDM), measurement specifications are likely to be revised to prevent low resolution TVs from being sold as 4K UHD TVs to unsuspecting consumers.

"A true 4K TV will have 3,840 × 2,160 pixels with exceptional screen quality, whereas a fake one will only offer 3K resolution at 25% less (2,880 × 2,160)," said Matthew Thackrah, deputy managing director and head of consumer electronics at Samsung Electronics SA.

"The latter also use the RGBW method – which stands for Red, Green, Black and White – that replaces some of the RGB (Red, Green and Black) sub-pixels with white sub-pixels to cut back on production costs. It also, unfortunately, cuts back on the quality."

Thackrah said that the original measurement specifications as outlined by the ICDM are being purposefully misinterpreted by manufacturers selling RGBW panels as UHD TVs.

The colour is compromised and users therefore do not fully experience true UHD resolution.

Samsung said that many consumers have been caught out by the fake UHD TV moniker, not realising how the combination of RGBW technology and low 3K resolution will impact their viewing.

"It is essential to examine the credentials of any manufacturer claiming to sell a UHD TV and to make sure that resolution is true 4K," said Thackrah.

"Check that the TV has an aspect ratio of at least 16:9, a colour bit depth of 8 bits, and a high frame rate of around 24p to 60p."

Thackrah said that many units don’t have clear information about the display or the core technology, so it is up to consumers to ask the right questions and make sure they get the right answers before they make a purchase.

To spot the difference between a true 4K TV and pseudo-UHD display, Samsung offered the following advice:

1. Take a close-up photo of a white portion of your TV screen.
2. Zoom in the photo as far as it will go.

If you see perfect vertical and horizontal lines of red, green and blue, repeated in this order throughout, your TV is a genuine 4K UHD TV.

However, if you see any lines of white mixed in with the red, green and blue lines, your TV delivers pseudo UHD TV.

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