The Lesson Of 3D TV: For 4K TV, The Key Is The Implementation

from the style-and-substance dept

To describe the adoption and sales of 3D TVs as underwhelming would be an understatement. Sales may not be absolutely abysmal, depending on your definition, but this was supposed to be the next thing, and it turns out most consumers don't give two poops about 3D television. (We really love that TechDigest.tv paid us homage with their logo, btw). Despite awful gimmicks, 3D TVs have always felt like a product that was created for a market that manufacturers intended to produce, rather than encourage, through marketing.

Well, if you've been paying attention to the news coming out of CES, one of the new buzz words you may recognize is "4K TV", which offers picture resolutions up to 4 times what was previously available on big screen TVs. But, just as there was with 3D TVs, questions abound about whether or not a large enough market exists for these products.
The word 3D is barely being uttered at CES 2013, but just about all the major TV makers are talking about 4K or ultra-definition HDTV that has four times the resolution of those 1080p sets many of us now own. That's a lot of pixels, which means the picture will be sharper not just when you're sitting several feet away from the set but even if you get up close.

But most us don't get all that close to big screen TVs. The 4K sets being shown at CES are big. Samsung has an 85 inch set, Sony is already selling an 84 inch model. About the smallest set you'll find is 55 inches but even with that size screen, people tend to sit a bit from the screen. I have a 55 inch 1080p set perched several feet in front of my living room couch so I rarely get close enough to my TV to notice any gaps between pixels.
The idea here is that at some point, there are going to be diminishing returns on resolution. Whether 1080p represents that point remains to be seen, but it may be reasonable to think that we've reached a level where more needs to be done to generate interest in higher resolution TVs besides just announcing them and showing the normal demos. They tried that with 3D TVs, along with a few movies that lended themselves well to the 3D experience, and we know that wasn't enough. The real opportunity here is content, specifically good 4K TV content that really takes advantage of all that the technology has to offer. That means content shot with the higher resolutions in mind, including mind-blowing shots that will simply pop with the higher resolution. Sony is the big player here, so you can probably already guess the route they've decided to go.
Taking advantage of the fact that it owns its own movie studios, Sony is trying to jump start content by re-rendering some of its own films into 4K and encouraging short film makers to create content. But it will still be awhile before there is enough native 4K content out there to give viewers a lot of choice of programming.
Sorry, but rehashing old content isn't going to do the trick here, and a lack of early adoption and interest may doom 4K TV to 3D TV's fate. It's all about the implementation. Your new release should show us why we already want the product, not try to generate interest that wasn't natively there. Higher resolutions could be a selling point, were there content that took advantage of it. Given that Sony, as already mentioned, owns its own movie studios, I would have expected them to have timed the product release to something they'd created to take advantage of it. Sadly, it looks like the $20k+ 4K TV devices won't be off to a hot, or useful, start.


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  1.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 1:31am

    (We really love that TechDigest.tv paid us homage with their logo, btw)

    The snark is strong in this sentence! ;)


    Now as for 4K TV or UltraHD or whatever other marketing name they come up with it is basically useless unless you are looking at watching a TV with a screen width of over 150 inches - yes that's over 12 freakin foot wide!!! (and approx 3.5 meters for us metric people)

    The only good thing that a 4K TV might be good for below that width is for passive 3D (the one that requires Polarising glasses and is basically making you see alternating 3D at 720p maximum on a 1080p screen.

    Why is 4K basically useless you ask? well it's to do with how the actual human eye works and what it can and cannot resolve at distance.

    I think Geoffrey Morrison states it all better and with less math (though there is some so be prepared) and geekspeak than I can so go there and see why basically 4K (and above) TVs are stupid.

    This doesn't lessen the fact that 4K devices have there uses.. Mostly in such things as touch enabled light-tables, AR/VR displays, huge outdoor screens (using OLED or even lasers), or as high end medical imaging monitors (monitors are not TV's) etc, though not as TV's.

    But hey if people want the latest and greatest and want to impress there friends with something that isn't really useful or has any benefit then go ahead. Marketing is itself a tax on the gullible anyway.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 1:33am

    Even HD isn't much value

    I've recently acquired standard HD res (1080p) and frankly most of the time I don't even notice, let alone care whether the channel is HD or not.

    The point is that standard film making techniques more or less abrogate the need for high resolutions. The only situation in which really high resolutions are valuable is in simulations (the best example I know of is air traffic control training simulators) where the image content is determined by a real world scenario rather than by a film director.

     

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    aster, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 1:36am

    The majority of TV programming isn't utilising the current 1080p rez, DVD's may be 1080 but who really uses them? The new gen consoles may be 4k but I doubt it. No or limited content for 4k will be a major hurdle to overcome. Personally I'd love a TV that had 1080, a really great UX and a decent remote, forget the 3D and 4k and make sell it for a reasonable price, im sure it would be popular.

     

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    Beech, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 2:11am

    Sony

    Well, Sony's plan of going back and re-re-re-releasing back content in the new format isn't a TERRIBLE idea. I mean, yeah, they own movie studios and should be making new content, but who says they aren't going to? The issue is, if I'm sony and make a new movie, that's 1 4k movie I have on the market. If i make a new 4k movie and remaster another one, that's 2 4k movies. Who's going to buy a new TV with this resolution when there's no (or little) media for it?

    Of course, this being Sony their 4k TVs will probably come equipped with hyper-intelligent viruses that will only let you watch a movie once before you have to pay again, while also scanning the DVD for fingerprints to make sure yours is the only set on there to stop you from borrowing/renting DVDs instead of buying more from Sony.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 2:34am

    For me, it is not about the technology but the content. I am perfectly happy watching TV on my laptop if the content is worth watching. What is the point in having the latest and greatest TV set if there is nothing worth watching?

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 2:46am

    So now they'll try to push 4k tvs on us. And I thought 3D was annoying. At least this might not give me a headache..

     

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    Niall (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 2:50am

    Personally, since my eyesight isn't perfect, the extra resolution is wasted on me. So long as the picture is ok, I'm happy.

    However, one explanation missing here that I read recently is that there is an optimum distance to view TVs based on their vertical height, and as the current generation of TVs get bigger, they don't work so well with the typical viewing room. These UHDs would therefore allow a good resolution without needing to have a super super big screen needing the length of a building to view on. So that might be a selling point if it can be demonstrated. Of course. these are already useful for where you need extremely large screens, but those are more niche markets compared to the main consumer market.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 3:33am

    It's funny the author of this article must come from some alternative universe!

    When electricity was introduced and electric lighting, the take up rate was really low

    When radio was first introduced the take up rate was really low.

    When Refrigeration was first introduced the take up rate was really low.

    When TV was first introduced the take up rate was really low.

    When Color TV was first introduced the take up rate was really low.

    When home computers were first introduced the take up rate was really low.

    When Cellular phones were first introduced the take up rate was really low.

    When Digital TV was first introduced the take up rate was really low.

    you get the point yet ???

    Buying a new TV or radio in the days when they were first introduced onto the market was an expensive deal, and having made that investment they are not willing to quickly make another major investment on the 'next big thing' until they get enough utility from what they already own.

    TV only really made it because of the queens crowning and the Olympics.

    Color TV was available a long time before I knew anyone who could afford to buy one!, and the B&W set cost my parents a months wages.

    So you really are dreaming if you think that just because it's new and different, that everyone will happily throw out the (perfectly working) existing consumer items just to get the next best thing.

    It makes absolutely no comment on the product or how well it will do in the longer term.

    TV was not popular in the short term, but most houses have several.

    Radio was the same, slow take up rate, but end up everywhere.

    PC's same again, very slow take up, (did you buy a $3000 z80 based TRS-80??) but they are now everywhere.

    Mobile phones, very few people payed the high price for the old bricks only the very rich, but they are everywhere now.

    The internet is exactly the same, only a few people were using BBS's and the university/education net (now the web), but now a lot do.

    So it says nothing about the technology or how ubiquitous it will become.

    So I don't see what point Masnick is trying to make here, or is it his usual NO point, just words.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 3:54am

    Without getting too technical (someone else can do the math), in a nutshell:

    1. Your human eyes can only be "x" good as a maximum. It can only see "x" dpi at given distances, given resolutions, given physical screen sizes
    2. Everyone is different (I'm old and cranky and have crappy eyes now), but even a perfect scenario and a "prefect" set of eyes will present the same conclusion (which follows)
    3. Distance is the key - as you move further away, you lose the extra detail that say 1080 offers over 720 and so on.

    Most people sit too far away to even notice the difference between 1080 and 720 (let alone 4k). And in order to be able to actually appreciate and see the difference, you have to sit so close that the screen fills your entire peripheral vision and it becomes impossible to comfortably view anything.

    As an exercise - take a 1920x1080 hi res, really hi-quality zero-compression jpg off some website that does HI QUALITY stuff (call this HR.jpg), resize it to 1280x720 and save as with zero compression as SR.jpg. Load the two on a memory stick. Stand a foot away from your TV, shove that flash drive into your it, and toggle between the two images (yes you can see the difference) .. now step back a foot, repeat ... now step back another foot, repeat .. by the time you get to the stage where you can't really tell the difference, you will be halfway or 2/3rds of the way to your couch.

    WHAT I ask will 4k do? Nothing! Marketing hype, more gimmicks to allure the almighty dollar out of your wallet.

    What would be far better is extra content added in some of that extra resolution - think real time statistics in sports - i.e, the original screen broadcast isn't touched or real estate stolen to overlay information, but rather you can pivot your eyes over to the left for extra info/stats. Maybe, ughh, that's also where some advertising revenue can be gained without ruining the actual game. Certainly great for sports - don't know what you could use it for for most TV shows / movies - oh i know, how about that's where you put your RSS feeds or local news/weather, whatever else the digital world can provide.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 4:05am

    Re:

    As always you missed the point (and got the writer wrong, it's Glyn not Mike).

    He's criticizing the way it's being introduced and the real need. There's a physical limit to what our eyes will benefit from increased resolution.

    It's a reasonable article, he's wondering if the lack of some major benefit in moving to this technology may doom it to the same fate 3D TV is facing.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 4:08am

    Re: Re:

    Derp, even I mixed the articles.. It's Tim lol

     

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    JMT (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 4:15am

    Re:

    You should learn a little about the relationship between screen resolution, screen size, viewing distance, and the human eye's limited ability to distinguish individual elements, like pixels. Once you understand it a bit better, you'll realise how silly your comment is.

     

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    Gerald Robinson (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 4:29am

    Chicken and egg

    Like 3D this is a chicken and egg problem. There's no content so why buy a 3D or 4k TV? Yes you can convert to either in post, but the results are markedly inferior. With a few exceptions all the 3D movies have been dogs—Avatar being the notable exception. (The Avengers in 3D came of well too.) I saw Alice and a couple other films in both regular and 3D and the 3D detracted from the presentation of the story. Will the Hobbit be successful? That remains to be seen—but the reviews aren't positive. (The remark "I see reality all the time and I don't like it" summarizes a lot of feelings.) 4K is similar, you can up convert in post but the result is not good. Against 4k is that most folks sit way too far away from their TVs. To get the HD effect you need to sit between 2x to 3x the diagonal for normal HDTV. That's way closer than most folks are set up for or use. Further broadcast TV quality sucks big time and cable is often worse

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 4:41am

    Re:

    When Digital TV was first introduced the take up rate was really low.

    you get the point yet ???


    When Quadraphonic sound was introduced the takeup rate was really low.

    When mechanical videodiscs were introduced the takeup rate was really low.

    Ditto for many other failed initiatives that are difficult to even remeber because of the depth of their failure.

    The fact is that most technological innovations fail and there are good reason why 3D has failed and why 4k screens will fail.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 4:42am

    Re:

    Check the byline... you're castigating the wrong author. Nice.

     

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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 4:57am

    Re:

    Here's the page I always go back to when people start arguing about the superiority of one resolution over another.

    http://carltonbale.com/1080p-does-matter/

    There's some nice charts and even a calculator to tell you how close you'd need to sit to make use of the resolution on your x width screen. For instance, to see 4k resolution on a 55 inch screen you'd need to sit three feet away from it. That's insanely close. Push your desk chair back a foot and imagine your monitor was 55". Yes that'd make for a mind blowing CES demo, but think about consuming all your media that way. Makes my brains hurt.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 4:58am

    Re: Even HD isn't much value

    "The only situation in which really high resolutions are valuable is in simulations "

    You're not a football fan I guess, where HD is definitely noticeable and large format almost a necessity if you want to see the score.

    But you are correct that HD does nothing for you when watching old content.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re:

    Yup, and I doubt there will be response by the poster acknowledging their error.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 5:05am

    Re:

    But then what will people brag about at cocktail parties?

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 5:06am

    Re:

    The issue here is one of immersion.

    A non-immersive display (such as a TV) will be viewed at an angle of around 10 to 30 degrees - hence, given the eye's resolution of around 1/60 of a degree, screen resolutions in the range 600 to 1800 (basically standard TV up to what has become standard HD) make sense.

    AN immersive display, (unless head-mounted) needs to provide 270 degrees (horizontal) by 90 degrees (vertical) equating to a resolution of 16200 x 5400 - which still requires multiple panels - even with 4k technology.

    So the 4k screen is a great piece of technology for VR applications - but is unnecessary in the home and hence will not arrive there in the near future.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 5:12am

    Re: Re: Even HD isn't much value

    You're not a football fan I guess, where HD is definitely noticeable

    Well sport is sort of marginal in terms of artistic control. As I said in the comment above where "the image content is determined by a real world scenario" then there is likely to be a case for HD. In sport the image content is intially determined by the nature of the game - but there is some scope for the broadcaster to reduce the need for high resolution by employing multiple cameras and selecting the most appropriate view for a given pice of action.

    When you think about it I think your sporting example confirms my logic by being an intermediate point on the spectrum.

     

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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 5:17am

    Re: Chicken and egg

    I think of 3D and 4k as poor offerings for slightly different reasons; yes I'll agree with you that there isn't much content for either. But I think the implementation of 3D as a byproduct of excess refresh rates is actually a detriment to viewing since it confuses the brain into searching for a different focal point. That's why so many people have headaches after watching a 3d movie. 4k on the other hand is just more information than the eye can process, so the difference goes unnoticed (aside from the extra cost).

    Both tech presses stem from the fact that manufacturers want to bump the 'standard' cost of a new TV by adding new 'must have' features. Rather than producing the perfectly acceptable standard we know and appreciate at a lower price, they seek to change the baseline with these new expansions.

    I see 4k buyers as similar to those who buy cars that can go 170 mph; they like knowing that their equipment can do it, even if the highest speed limit in their area is 65. And maybe 3D buyers are like those that bought into the high ground-clearance craze, even though the handling and gas mileage turned out to be much worse.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 5:21am

    Re: Re:

    There is another factor that needs to be taken into account. That is the angle of view of the lens used for filming.

    It will not feel comfortable sitting at a distance corresponding to a viewing angle of 72 degrees (calculated from you 55 inch screen at 3ft) when most of the content was shot with a lens angle of view of 30 degrees or less (30 degrees is a slight telephoto).

    If the TV directors were to switch to wide angle lenses to compensate for this then it would mess up the experience of the majority (still watching on smaller screens at greater distances).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 5:42am

    Adoption will definitely be slow if there isn't content with 4k. And even if there is, because I think most new movies are done in 4k anyway because of IMAX, but the biggest problem might be Internet connections.

    And this is why I hope 4k succeeds. It may force ISP's to upgrade to Gigabit fiber networks, and then the popularity of 4k content would make more people stop using "TV channels" which probably won't have a lot of 4k content for a while, and just use the Internet where most 4k content will be distributed.

    In regards to how much of an impact is on clarity, I think I saw a chart once, that said that under 30" you need 720p, under 50" 1080p, and over 50" you'll need higher resolution, so 4k should at least work for 50" TV's and up, although I'm sure we'll eventually see cheap 30" 4k ones.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 5:42am

    Other Technical factors

    Just to tie together some other technical issues

    Several people have mentioned the resolution of the eye vs the resolution of the screen for various size/viewing combinations - however there are other factors:

    1) Video compression.
    Nowadays almost all TV is digital - and therefore compressed. The compression process removes a lot of high frequencies - thereby limiting the utulity of high resolution display screens. No one will ever broadcast or record "4k" resolution video in uncompressed format.

    2) Display technology and reconstruction filtering.
    Flat panel displays have inherent aliasing that can only be overcome by upping the display resolution well above the resolution of the video stream.

    Take this together with point 1 above and you will wonder (as I do) whether 1080p digital (compressed) video on an LCD display is actually any better than standard resolution analogue (uncompressed) TV on an old CRT. Certainly compression breaks down quite badly for certain types of image and digital TV at standard resolution is inferior to analogue for that reason.

     

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    Lord Binky, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 5:46am

    I like this idea because the more the technology is used for manufacturing TV panels, the cheaper the manufacturing costs become. These cost savings can be carried over to monitors, which is a smaller market than TVs, but the upside is that the same technology used in TVs where it makes little difference, it makes a large difference in monitors.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Even HD isn't much value

    Ummm, yeah - whatever

     

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    techflaws (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 6:18am

    Re:

    So it says nothing about the technology or how ubiquitous it will become.

    Says the guy who completely missed this new technology called "paragraphs".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 6:20am

    Re: Other Technical factors

    "wonder (as I do) whether 1080p digital (compressed) video on an LCD display is actually any better than standard resolution analogue (uncompressed) TV on an old CRT."

    Good argument in theory, but in practice the design and construction of large CRT is quite problematic. There were few CRT devices made in excess of 40", they were heavy, expensive and suffered from design issues.

    When looking at large format display options, the CRT is simply not an option. The implementation would not be cost effective and the alternatives provide better quality at less cost and do not require a forklift to move them.

     

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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    I'd think a more likely future is one where people pay more for 4k streaming content, don't get it, and don't know that they didn't get it.

    I think the chart you saw was pointing out that it is virtually impossible to notice 1080p on a screen under 30 incehs, not that you need it on TV's over that size. Physical perception limits aside, the resolution you 'need' is dictated by the size of the screen combined with the distance to your seat.

    From the page I linked in a prior comment, you'll start to see 4k resolution on a 75" screen sitting 10 feet away, but not get the full benefit unless your couch is only 5 feet back. I'm not sure you'd even be able to see the edges from that distance.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re: Other Technical factors

    If you want a large format CRT then you could use a CRT projector...

    However large format wasn't my point - my point was image quality - which does not depend in any way on the physical size of the device.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 7:25am

    Start with...

    "Sony is trying to jump start content by re-rendering some of its own films"

    I have an idea. They should start with all those old films where the only copies are decaying in vaults and are at risk to being lost forever.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 7:53am

    Re: Other Technical factors

    With more people getting shows from online, I wonder how they plan to push their content with bandwidth caps and data tiers being put in place. I'm sure the kick-ass resolution comes at a price, well a couple at least.

     

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    Mike Martinet (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 8:13am

    And Then

    What happens to all these 4k/3D TVs when holographic projection becomes common?

    Landfills full of gigantic pixel-frames?

     

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    JJ Joseph, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 8:23am

    VHS

    I feel so retarded reading this stuff because I'm still watching old Elvis Presley movies on VHS. Sometimes I watch Region 2 or 4 DVD movies on a laptop, but that's about as exciting as it gets around my house.

     

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    IamNoOneofInterest, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 8:35am

    4k does 3d better than pseudo 3d with glasses

    If 4k or 8k resolution is to marketed, they darned well better do it the right way by going after the pseudo 3d market showing that high resolution is closer to an actual 3d experience than the gimmick that is touted as 3d today. If a viewer can see the individual raindrops falling on a moving picture, that is the experience to sell.

    Yet even if 4k takes off, paraphrasing from the 1980's marketing ad for a hamburger chain, "Where's the Beef". If there is no source material in 4k other than still photos and poorly upscaled movies (like today's crop of 1080p) then it's a loser out the door. Sure Cameron or Del Toro might put out movies targeted for the 4k downstream market using the latest recording and editing technologies but the majority I suspect - just like today - don't care and that sadly is going to make 4k a loser out the door.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 8:39am

    Re:

    DVDs are only 480p, but players are really good at blowing it up to 1080p.

    Blurays are 1080p, but they still aren't mainstream (I think mainly due to licensing costs that make the players and discs more expensive).

    4K is fine for movie theatres, but pointless for the home.

     

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    Forest_GS (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 8:43am

    I've played the 3DS for quite a while now but...

    It just doesn't feel like 3D anymore, just a higher resolution.

     

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    nasch (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    Re:

    The only good thing that a 4K TV might be good for below that width is for passive 3D (the one that requires Polarising glasses and is basically making you see alternating 3D at 720p maximum on a 1080p screen.

    Wouldn't doubling the frame rate be a much cheaper way to accomplish that?

     

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    nasch (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 9:14am

    Re: Even HD isn't much value

    I've recently acquired standard HD res (1080p) and frankly most of the time I don't even notice, let alone care whether the channel is HD or not.

    You don't notice the difference between SD and HD? Do you have a 12" TV or something? :-)

     

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    nasch (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    Re:

    The majority of TV programming isn't utilising the current 1080p rez,

    I don't know if I'm representative, but all my non-local channels that I watch are available in 1080 (not sure if it's i or p). I think almost all the channels I don't watch are HD also.

     

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  42.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Re:

    darryl, is that you? We didn't miss you.

     

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  43.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Re: Chicken and egg

    How does the math work out for theaters? With the huge screen but the audience much farther away, is there a benefit to 4K? I suspect there might be, and that would seem to be an obvious way to start with the technology.

     

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  44.  
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    Dave, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 9:49am

    Hi Def, Content, Featueres

    Has anyone ever asked consumers what direction they'd like to see manufactrurers take weith new TVs? Probably they have but if so, they missed me.
    As pointed out earlier in this discussion, higher resolution is more valued at larger screen sizes but my living room is only 15' square so even my tiny (?) 47" Samsung 1080p dominates the room, Any bigger and I'll have to hold it in my lap and that leaves no room for my sweetie.
    What would make me salivate for a new set (not bigger) would be a built camera, dialing/imaging software, RJ-11 connection so I could dial a friend or relative across the country and, if they were lucky enough to own a set with the same capabilities, converse as if we were in the same room with full video and stereo sound.
    Another feature I would consider at my next purchase is truly standardized coding for the remote. There4 is no excuse for 5,000 different mfgs codes to try and turn the volume up and down, cnange channels or turn the blessed thing off! My gosh, if automabile makers had been as selfishly proprietary at the start of the 20th century, some folks would have to find a station pumping maple syrup while others' cars would run on honey. For crying out loud, get your act together!
    Now as far as 4K resolution is concerned, while it may be wasted in my living room, it might be just the answer to bring back the drive-in theater, thus giving another generation of teenagers a great venue to learn proper groping techniques. No, I guess that 4K would be wated there too because we never watched the movies anyway.
    Oh, well...

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 9:51am

    Re:

    I think the problem we're going to have is storage or delivery of this content. full 1080p video is horrendously large in size. To get true 1080p at the current 24 fps that videos are at requires a massive amount of bandwidth, requiring either impressively high internet speeds (16 Mbps dedicated to the stream) or local storage for the file. Blu-ray discs, which are 25GB per layer (and usually never have more than 2 layers) currently fit a single movie. Now, with 4K coming up, multiply all these numbers by 4. And if the 48 fps films like the Hobbit become standard, double all that again.

    Either we will never be able to stream a full 4K movie at it's actual resolution and framerate or we will never have cheap storage big enough for it to be viewed locally. Without a revolutionary breakthrouggh in storage and internet speeds, 4K will never be used by the common household.

     

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  46.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    In Being Digital, Nicholas Negroponte makes a point about HDTV (which was pretty new at the time). Everybody's energy was focussed on trying to figure out what the resolution and aspect ratio should be.

    But technology is to the point where it doesn't matter. My computer can resize a video on-the-fly from whatever size the video is in to whatever size my monitor is. It can even fix the aspect ratio of the movie if it was processed badly.

    As a specific example, I'm sure many of you have heard me whine about a 20-year-old American movie that I tried to buy on DVD, and could only find it in PAL format, region 2. (That's a pretty long release window. How much extra money are they making from that delay, again?) I ripped it and played it on my regular TV (old-style NTSC, not HD) from my computer. The playback was nearly seamless despite the different aspect ratio and refresh rate. Why? Because the technology Just Works and has for over a decade.

    There's no reason we can't do the same for television sets and whatever high-resolution format we use to connect to them. The source has to communicate what it's sending and the TV has to adapt. Big deal! My 6-year-old laptop can do that standing on its head, and still receive e-mail in the background. If they came up with a flexible connection like that, the manufacturers could incrementally improve both their sources and their televisions -- and do it completely transparently.

    The technology isn't even just lying around; millions of instances get shipped daily, every time somebody buys a computer.

    Going back to Being Digital, Negroponte's point is that worrying about the resolution is wasteful and pointless, when the real challenge is providing better content. Everybody's worried about how many pixels the screen should have, but nobody's worried about what we're going to watch on our shiny new HDTVs.

    Personally, I vote for this series.

     

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  47.  
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    Dave, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re:

    Perhaps you missed the news... Kingston plans to marhet 1 GB flash drives later this year. Ever cheaper and larger storage has been the norm for the past twenty years beginning with the 1.2 MB - 5.25 floppy (which we thought was tremendous in the days of DOS.)

     

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  48.  
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    Dave, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think I meant: Kingston is planning to market 1TB flash drives later this year.

     

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  49.  
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    hegemon13, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 11:43am

    Implementation...and pricing

    I am one of the few people out there who love 3D movies. I enjoy my 3DTV immensely on the few occasions that I get to use it. I know, I know, I'm the reason cinema sucks and I should be banned from setting foot in a theater ever again. Or something like that.

    Anyway, the problem for me is the pricing. $35 a disc is outrageous. Insultingly so. Especially when the same movie launches in non-3D for half the price. So, the only time I actually get to watch a 3D movie is when Family Video happens to have something available that I want to see.

    I fear 4k will suffer the same fate: awesome technology crippled by extremely limited and overpriced content selection.

     

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  50.  
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    fb39ca4 (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    This article completely ignores video games. Right now, any PC game that can be played at 1080p can be played at 4k (well, almost any game - see Dark Souls). Once the next generation consoles hit, there will be a few games that support 4k as well.

     

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  51.  
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    Crashoverride (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 2:24pm

    Such an odd story it was as if my grandparents wrote it. Wasn't there people out there saying who needs Hi-Def I'm never that close to a tv. Or why bother with 1080 480 is just perfectly fine.

    The post kinda sort of round about gets to the point but then still misses it. People like 3d tv they just don't like the glasses lack of material etc... 4k TV's make a huge visual difference. However few have yet to see an actual 4k tv plus the price starts at like $12k so no it's not about marketing. There are a few issues that need to be resolved before a discussion as this article insists...on marketing occurs and as this article implies we call this technology dead.

     

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  52.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Not on passive 3D it wouldn't. Passive 3d uses two separate polarised pixels (led's or plasma) to alternate between images (left - right) which equates on a 1920x1080 display (what people know as a 1080 display) to allow each eye to only receive half that which is 1920x540 pixels .

    4K allows a passive 3D display to therefore show 3840 x 1080 pixels instead for each eye stopping the lines that some people (admittedly not all) can see on the lower resolution.

    4K and 8K TV's are still at the same framerate which is either 24fps or 60fps that wont change since they are defacto filming/broadcasting framerates and basically anymore is pointless again since the human eyeball mark 1.0 and its corresponding control unit - B.R.A.I.N v1.0 cannot tell the difference over 60fps.

    What I think you are alluding to is refresh rate which stands currently around 50/60Hz, 100Hz or 200Hz on LED's and marketed as 600Hz on plasma's (bit of a misnomer since plasma's don't refresh like that and therefore have no motion blur problems and instead break up pictures into subfields - normally 10 of them - that operate at 60Hz - but again not a refresh - and therefore you get a 600Hz figure that marketing uses to confuse people).

    Refresh rate is a major problem on action and sporting broadcasts, most people can distinguish motion blur on 50/60Hz LED's and sometimes (watch a tennis match for a major example)on 100Hz LEDs but not so much on 200Hz. Plasmas and OLED's do not suffer from this problem. So if you like action and sports buy plasma, if you want to put that same plasma in a very lit room buy OLED (but bring your money with you)

     

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  53.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re:

    Exactly though my last paragraph on the definition of marketing is basically says that UltraHD TV's will be pushed and purchased by the unknown/unwitting and though won't be in many homes at start will be by the time the "keeping up with the technology" marketers get there way.

    :(

     

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  54.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Re:

    You will mostly find that those HD channels are actually being broadcast in 720 and not 1080.

    This is why when you purchase a TV you see HD or "Full HD"

    HD is 720, Full is 1080. [Aint marketing wonderful ;) ]

    Oh and Netflix and Amazon and most other streaming services (on demand or otherwise) are nearly always 720 or even lower.

     

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  55.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hey I'll have you know I was using single sided 180Kbyte f5.25" floppies and they fitted all my self typed basic programs out of the microbee and Apple magazines I could find.

    :)

    Though interestingly I remember my first 20Mb HDD could store all my games, wordprocessor (wordperfect), Multi User Bulletin Board (TBBS) and its many downloadable user storage files and fidonet feeds, DOS, GEM (yes GEM!!!!) plus still room for more . It's amazing how huge programs have become that do the same blood thing!

     

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  56.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 3:27pm

    Re:

    This has to be Darryl due to the Olympics reference (I'm guessing the Melbourne Olympics.. right Mr D?)

    and

    When Comprehension was taught at school your takeup rate was really low.

     

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  57.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Other Technical factors

    Talking about Large format projectors, this new Laser projector by LG that accomplishes a 100inch screen with only 22inches between projector and screen (WOW!!!!) is quite interesting

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 7:09pm

    Re: Re:

    yes you would expect failed technologies to have a slow take up rate, but do you consider radio's or TV to be failed technologies ?

    Once again, you FAIL...

    Linux had a very slow take up rate too, STILL DOES !!!

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re:

    and who gives a fuck ?? they are all cast from the same faulty mould.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re:

    way to address the issue, you would not want to be seen as a troll attacking the person, and leaving the comments by that person untouched.

    There must be a reason for that, oh that's right you cant think up a good counter argument, so you attack the person..

     

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  61.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    bwahahahahahahaha

    oh your being serious

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
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    Cynyr (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 9:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Where is my 21" 4k monitor for my computer? the nexus 10 has more pixels then my 1080P desktop monitor... WTF!

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2013 @ 10:26pm

    4k Tv's gives a reason for the crappy slow internet speeds to be upgraded. Hopefully this is one technology that takes off just for the side benefits.

     

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  64.  
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    james braselton, Apr 30th, 2013 @ 2:34pm

    3d vs 4k

    hi there yeah more 3d movies 3d websites then 4k see youtube has 10,000,000 3d videos 0 4k videos netflix has 8 3d movies and 0 4k movies 1,000 3d websites 0 4k websites and comcast has 40 3d movies on demand no 4k movies yet and get espn 3d tv channel as well

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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