4K is the next big thing in TV technology so forget Full HD, this is the future. There's still a limited amount of content available in 4K but things are only going to improve over time and many sets will upscale existing content.
Just to be clear 4K and Ultra HD (or UHD) are the same thing and means the display has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 – Full HD is 1920 x 1080 so it's four times the amount of pixels.
All the below TVs are 4K but other features vary such as the type of 3D used, available catch-up services, built-in tuners, screen size and more. To be doubly clear, we've ranked them on price alone but explained what each model has to offer. Take a look at our Plasma vs LED comparison and if 3D is a priority, here's an article explaining the difference between passive and active 3D.
Prices taken on 09/07/14
6 cheapest 4K TVs in the UK 2014
6. Panasonic Viera TX50AX802 - £2,099
Coming in at just over two grand is Panasonic's Viera TX-50 which, as the name suggests, is a 50in TV set. Freetime means you can roll-back TV up to seven days for catch-up and as with many TVs there's 3D but its active rather than the cinema-style passive – two pairs of glasses are included. This model features both Freesat and Freeview built-in and four tuners rather than the traditional two. Software includes a customisable homescreen and recommendations via My Stream.
Buy from Currys.
5. Toshiba L9 58L9363DB - £1,959
Toshiba just has one 4K TV so it is be default the firm's cheapest. Narrowly more affordable than the Panasonic Veria, the L9 is the biggest TV in this round-up at 58in (bigger sizes are available). It has a Cevo engine for upscaling and catch-up including BBC iPlayer and Netflix via Cloud TV. Freeview is built-in and the active 3D can convert 2D content.
Buy from Debenhams.
4. Sony Bravia KD49X8505BBU - £1,599
Sony has been a force in the TV market for many years and on the UHD front, this 49in X850 model is the most affordable. Sony says its X-Reality PRO technology works with 4K to analyse, clean and enhance all content to play back in pristine quality on the Ultra HD screen. It has a Freeview tuner, apps like Netflix, built-in Wi-Fi and passive 3D.
Buy from Currys.
3. LG 49UB850V - £1,089
LG's cheapest 4K TV is a decent size, matching the Sony at 49in, and if you're very quick comes with a free G Pad tablet (offer ends 13 July). You can also get seven Sky Sports day passes and three months of Sky Movies for free. It features a webOS operating system, magic remote control and cinema 3D (two pairs of glasses are included).
Buy from Amazon.
2. Philips 7800 Series 42PUS7809 - £999
The cheapest 4K TV from Philips is 42in (a 55in model is also available) and features two sided Ambilight technology – LEDs mounted on the back which match what's on the screen. It's also a Smart TV with a Qwerty remote and 'frameless bezel' design. It has a Pixel Precise Ultra HD processing engine for upscaling of HD content and 600Hz Perfect Motion Rate Ultra for 'flawless' moving images.
Buy from RGB Direct.
1. Samsung UE40HU6900 - £729
The winner for the cheapest 4K TV on the market goes to Samsung and this 40in LED TV. It may not be the biggest or the best quality but at £729 it's certainly the most affordable. As well as proprietary four step upscaling and a Freesat tuner, there's a full complement of catch-up services including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4OD.
Buy from Currys.