Geoffrey Morrison

Normally, you'd think a rumor that never comes true, despite being circulated continuously for years, would shrivel up and die. Such is not the case with the legend of a fabled Apple TV set, which later became an Apple HDTV set, and now apparently is an Apple 4K screen, according to the latest iteration of the gossip.

But after all this time, the more pertinent question becomes not "will there be an Apple TV?" but "do we still care about an Apple TV?"

The International Telecommunications Union is the regulatory body that establishes the parameters by which all TVs and their related paraphernalia (cameras, etc.) work. Without them, every TV show would look different on every TV.

To help with the adoption of Ultra HD, otherwise known as "4K," they've put out the sexy sounding Recommendation ITU-R BT.2020. What does it mean for you?

Well, not much. Wait! Keep reading! True, these standards are for Ultra HD TVs, but they tell a lot about where the ITU expects and hopes televisions to go.

Using the time-honored tactics of obfuscation, misdirection, and a little bit of fear, the people who try to sell you TVs can hit you with some heavy-duty lies.

Now this isn't to say that all TV sales people are bad, nor that any necessarily do this out of malice (there's plenty of misinformation out there confused as truth). But when it's your dollar on the line, being prepared with some facts can only be a good thing.

For a primer on all the jargon, check out "TV tech explainer: Every HDTV technology decoded."

On one side, there's 4K: four times the resolution of your current TV. LG, Sony, JVC, and others have all announced or shown upcoming 4K displays.

On the other, there's OLED: Organic Light-Emitting Diode. Significantly better picture quality than your current TV, plus lower energy consumption, and even thinner cabinets.

So what's more exciting?

With 4K, there are many potential benefits. You can sit closer to your TV, for one, without ever seeing pixels. Or you can get a much larger TV for the same reason. If you sit close enough

Some interesting comments still aren't convincing. 4K resolution in TVs is still a dumb idea.

A few months ago, hot on the multitude of 4K TV announcements at CES, I wrote an article called Why 4K TVs are stupid.

I was shocked, shocked to find so many angry, contrary opinions on the subject. I mean, this is the Internet. Surely everyone is cordial and like-minded.

The comment section was the usual bog of ad hominem, straw man, and plain nonsense arguments. But buried deep within the chaff were a few good questions

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