My family is getting a new 4K-ready TV for Christmas. How do I find 4K stuff to watch on it? Are there any 4K channels?
Brian F, via email
Our expert Kim says...
Sounds like you've spotted the one big problem with 4K TV right now: we just don't have enough 4K content to watch. But don't worry - there are indeed lots of videos, TV shows, and films out there that you can get in this stunning new definition.
Look out for any mention of '4K' as well as 'Ultra HD' or 'UHD'. Both are technically slightly different, but they both refer to the same concept - video with a resolution in the region of 4000 x 2000 pixels.
So without further ado, here's where you can find some 4K or UHD stuff to watch…
With the top-end BT TV package, Max, you'll get an Ultra HD YouView box - complete with the BT Sport Ultra HD channel, the only UHD channel you can get in the UK. So if you want to see every movement and subtlety in Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, and Aviva Premiership Rugby games, this is how to do it.
Ultra HD Blu-ray
The selection is a tad limited, but yes, you can buy 4K movies on DVD thanks to Blu-ray. You'll need an Ultra HD Blu-ray player - which isn't cheap - and some discs to watch on it. Right now, you can get Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, The Hunger Games, and plenty more. Including The Angry Birds Movie, because why bother watching lumpy CGI birds if you can't watch them in super high definition?
If you're a Sky TV user, you're in for a treat - the provider has a ton of 4K stuff to offer you through its Sky Q service. There's Premier League games on Sky Sports, every Formula 1 race, 100+ blockbuster movies, natural history docs, some TV dramas, and, uh, a Blur gig.
You'll need a Sky Q box to receive it all though, which may require an upgrade - ring Sky if you're interested. Or, sign up to a new package here.
Netflix is leading the pack for 4K streaming so far. A really nice range of its shows and movies are available in Ultra HD, including some episodes of Daredevil, House of Cards, Jessica Jones, Sense8, and Breaking Bad, plus some nature docs.
To watch Netflix in 4K, you'll need to sign up to its highest subscription tier - £8.99 a month.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon's not far off in the 4K stakes, actually. Along with some films (The Martian, The Amazing Spider-Man), on Amazon Prime Video you can get episodes of Mozart in the Jungle, Extant, and Transparent in Ultra HD. Unlike Netflix, though, the 4K content is included in the standard subscription price.
Both YouTube and Vimeo support resolutions up to 4096 x 3071, so there's definitely stuff to watch on there. You'll find movie trailers, wildlife clips, vids from the International Space Station, and all kinds of things that users have uploaded. If you want to watch hour-long videos of Marvel superheroes' fireplaces in 4K, YouTube totally lets you do that too.
iPlayer is still testing the waters when it comes to 4K. At the moment, selected 4K smart TVs can watch a clip from Planet Earth II, but that's pretty much it. Look out for more in the future though - we're sure it's only a matter of time until Doctor Who arrives in UHD.
The latest TiVo box from Virgin Media, the V6, is 4K-ready - but right now, the only UHD telly you can watch on there is through the Netflix and YouTube apps that come with the box. Again, we're certain there's more native content on its way.