To 4k or not to 4k

22nd October 2015

Ultra HD /4K

The Following is an extract from CEDIA (The Consumer Electronics Design and Installation Association) recent white paper on UHD/4K

The transition from analog to digital TV opened our eyes to a world of vivid high-definition images that we now take for granted – but around the corner is always something bigger and better. Imagine quadrupling what was recently considered a top HD resolution and you’d have the next-generation of TV/video. This spectacular format is called 4K and is capable of delivering 8 million pixels of luscious detail.

While the picture makes things easier to see, there is actually a limit to the level of detail that our eyes can handle, so Ultra-HD requires a very large screen to appreciate its incredibly fine resolution. With a common 40-inch TV, you would have to sit pretty close to appreciate the extra detail — which is why the technology first found success in cinemas.

 

Some Common Questions

Can I enjoy Ultra HD now even though there is not a lot of 4K content available to the consumer?

While it is true that there is a limited amount of Ultra HD content available today, the amount is growing at a steady rate. The good news is that many studios have been recording content in Ultra HD type formats for quite some time and once Ultra HD takes off, they will be able to quickly and moderately easily distribute their content across the globe. More importantly, the ability of a Ultra HD display to upscale HD content to Ultra HD means that almost anything you watch will look better on an Ultra HD set.

 

What is the next step beyond Ultra HD?

Will my television become obsolete in a matter of a few years? While it is impossible to predict, it appears that nothing beyond Ultra HD will be available to consumers at until 2020. There are prototype “8K” displays which display 4 times more pixels than their Ultra HD counterparts, but on a practical and affordable level it will be close to a decade out before those will become mainstream adoption.

 

4K-Resolution-Comparison Ultra

 

Can I keep my existing home entertainment system when I upgrade to Ultra HD?

This answer is a little tricky because each entertainment system varies based on the parts and materials that comprise the system. Your existing AV receiver, if you have one, may or may not be able to pass Ultra HD signals. The peripheral devices may or may not connect directly to the television. As for your cables, according to HDMI.org, the HDMI 2.0 specification which defines support Ultra HD signals, states that current HDMI cables marked “High-Speed” should be able to support Ultra HD.

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