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4K TV and premature marketing

Posted by MD on 1 November 2014

 

 

 

 

 

We all love to get excited about the "next new thing", and the latest "new thing" is undoubtedly 4K or now rebranded UHD. Unfortunately the industry has put the cart before the horse in many respects. UHD will eventually become mainstream but today it is probably only of real benefit at sizes of 80 inch and over. Future implementation of wider colour space and greater bit depth will lead to even greater benefits, but as of today it's only true advantage is resolution. If you buy a UHD TV today you are just buying and expensive upscaler. Your 4K content options are limited to a few streaming services but with our decrepit internet infrastructure the approximately 20Mbps bandwidth required to stream UHD means you will need to book your show a day or two in advance. The recently announced UHD Blu Ray player will be available late 2015, but until then upscaled SD & HD will have to suffice. My main gripe though is not the lack of content, but rather the lack of a firm set of standards, in particular something called REC2020. HD uses a standard called REC709, this specifies things like frame rate, resolution, bit depth and colour space. REC2020 is a working standard which means it is still not fully cooked. The danger is that people buying UHD TVs today may not be able to utilise features implemented further downstream. In fact the recent release of the HDCP2.2 copy protection spec has already rendered any TV or Receiver sold up to this point redundant due to them being unable to handshake with any HDCP 2.2 compliant device and therefore unable to display UHD content. Our advice is to forget UHD for the moment  and buy the best 1080p HD equipment you can afford. If you have to have UHD then talk to a speacialist in order to get the best advice you can so that you can make an informed decision and then , proceed with caution......

Author: MD
Tags: 4K

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