Is the 4K Revolution Too Early?



Is the 4K Revolution Too Early?

Movies are constantly getting better, maybe not in terms of direction or acting, but you can hardly argue that visual special effects and sound have not improved vastly in recent years. Some of us who are lucky (or sad) enough to have a dedicated home entertainment system find a trip to the cinema a bit of a let-down. That’s unless we are able to see movies on a good 4k screen. Although still new to the scene, 4k cinemas are gaining popularity and more and more movies are appearing in the super high definition format.

How Long Before 4K TVs become a Common Purchase?

The thing is, there’s common and there’s not quite common enough to prove most of us forking out for a top of the range TV if it means sacrificing the family holiday this year. However, Sony is trying to target the home purchasers more with their release of the XBR-55X900A and the XBR-65X900A which have 55inch and 65inch screens . The new sets are set to be less than $5k or £3.3k and that should kick-start the next step in home cinema.

Even at these prices, they are way out of the price range for the average family with much more important things to spend their money on, but it should mean those stocks of LCDs and LEDs at the top end of the market start to drop in price rapidly. Remember when we moved from Plasmas to LCDs and the prices dropped like Kim Jong Un’s name off Christmas card lists?

The change may not be as rapidly as before, but you can bet that anything Sony is doing for five thousand dollars this year, LG will be doing far half as much in a year from now. That’s when people will start asking each other if they have a 4K TV yet every time their kids are in soccer practice.

Chicken and Egg Syndrome

Like the age-old debate about what came first, the chicken or the egg, one of the major reasons for dropping the price is the availability of content for the UltraHD systems. Many households are yet to experience the benefits of watching movies in Blu-Ray, so the idea a market could exists for Red-Ray 4K players is a little optimistic.

Super fast broadband is gaining popularity, but streaming of 4K movies is highly unlikely to work on anything but the fastest of networks that make up less than 0.5% of fibre networks. Well that’s what we would have expected, but having learnt from mistakes of the past, there are new compression codecs that enable 4K movies to transmit as easily as HD content is now. This means 4K formats would actually replace Blu-Ray as the format of choice for the early adopters on the tech scene. If that is true, it could be the biggest revolution since cine cameras moved to analogue or analogue to digital.

4K Content Distribution

U.S. Company Odemax, has a head start on the competition by already having a cloud solution in place that can deliver 4K content via a fibre (fiber in the US) network direct to homes and cinemas. This means the issue of content is actually non-existent and cost is the only thing holding back the next revolution.

It can also depend on the reluctance of manufacturers to move from an LED product range that is still selling extremely well. There are obviously many production facilities dedicated to LED models, but the change will be nothing like the transition from cathode-ray tube televisions to plasmas and LCDs.

The Bottom Line – when should we expect them?

Optimistically, a year from the release of the two Sony models mentioned above is a good bet, but at the very latest, we should have very affordable models available from a range of manufacturers eighteen months from now.


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Author Bio

Philip Morrison is an early adopter and loves the latest gadgets especially those related to entertainment. His day job involves converting cine film to DVD format to keep historical movies.


A disclaimer: The above is not a paid post. The author’s views do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog.

Posted by | Posted at April 11, 2013 18:29 | Tags: , , ,
Contributor to TheTechStorm Blog.

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