Ultra high-definition TV may be what it says on the box, but how can you be sure that that’s what you are getting? Some creating marketing is happening around new-generation TV standards, one manufacturer says, and that’s casting doubt on the “UHD” tag being applied to TVs currently on sale.

Quite simply, if the set you are buying doesn’t comply with the UHD standard for resolution, aspect ratio, frame rate and colour bit depth, you’re not getting what you might think.

According to Samsung Electronics South Africa, pseudo UHD TVs have found their way into the South African market. A pseudo UHD TV is in fact misrepresented and uses inferior 3K resolution that delivers 25 percent less pixel power.

“UHD stands for Ultra High Definition and this is precisely what consumers should get when they purchase a television,” says Matthew Thackrah, Deputy Managing Director and Head of Consumer Electronics at Samsung Electronics SA. “Samsung’s SUHD TVs produce 64 times more colour expression than conventional televisions and have a pure 4K resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. The inferior pseudo UHD TV offers only 3K resolution of 2880×2160 pixels.”

Sets with 3K technology use RGWB (red, green, white and blue) technology to minimise production costs. “The technology replaces some of the RGB sub-pixels with white sub-pixels and reduces the resolution significantly.”

The pseudo UHD might seem more affordable in the short term, but the quality and additional functions you get when you purchase a true UHD more than justify the investment, Thackrah says.

To help you make an informed decision when buying UHD TV, here are four questions you need to ask:

1. What is the resolution?

A true 4K UHD TV has a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels.

2. What is the aspect ratio?

A true 4K UHD TV has an aspect ratio of at least 16:9.

3. What is the colour bit depth?

A true 4K UHD TV has 8 bit colour depth.

4. What is the frame rate?

A true 4K UHD TV has a 24p/25p/30p/50p/60p frame rate.

Another clue that you might be purchasing a pseudo UHD TV: it may be a lot cheaper.