This is Sony’s 4K LCD 84-in. TV. Price is $25,000. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2241314/Ultra-high-d...I think, as does Sony, there’s a future for 4K yet the stumbling block is the present lack of 4K source material. Sure, a Blu-ray 1080p signal can be upscaled four times depending on the chipset but that’s a reach. It’s far more complex than taking a 480 DVD and upscaling it to 1080. My view is 4K will be used for projection TVs rather than flat screen at first. Some amplifiers today offer 4K pass through so that won’t be a bottleneck but upscaling might be – unless companies such as Anchor Bay create a cheaper upscaling chipset.Interesting Sony would be behind 4K since almost the entire movie production companies were dead set against higher resolutions. This is why Blu-ray takes so long to initiate: the disc has to be verified as acceptable. The same time may be with 4K or longer because of copy protection. Shouldn’t be but my guess is 4K source material will become available only after improved copy protection, et al.MichaelR
Out of curiosity, why 4k? why not 2k? or some other number? Is this some sort number pulled out of a hat? Or is it related to some piece of technology?RM
Out of curiosity, why 4k? why not 2k? or some other number? Is this some sort number pulled out of a hat? Or is it related to some piece of technology?RM It’s the screen’s horizontal resolution: four times that of 1080, the present hi-def standard. There’s more in brief at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution and in detail at http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33199_7-57364224-221/what-is-4k...One problem I see with 4K –even though the resolution is boggling – is it’s yet another media change necessitating new editions of existing movies. It may be that, as a Blu-ray player can process DVDs and can upscale to 1080, a 4K player will do the same. But transitioning from a 1080 screen means buying a new TV. Before that’s viable prices have to drop considerably.Right now I can put up a decent home theater for less that $3,000: that wouldn’t be enough for a down payment on a 4K system.MichaelR
It’s the screen’s horizontal resolution: four times that of 1080, the present hi-def standard.No, the current 1080p of most screens is 1920 (horizontal) by 1080 vertical. Thus, the horizontal is about 2000, or 2K (technically 2K is 2 x 1024 or 2048). The 4K naming standard (if there is one) will be about 4K across. Thus 2x in each dimension. Some displays will be exactly 2x...3840 x 2160.There are already 4K monitors for PCs and the HDMI and Display port specs have been updated for these. Previously you had to connect two cables to get to 4KOne problem I see with 4K –even though the resolution is boggling – is it’s yet another media change necessitating new editions of existing movies.The resolution isn't really boggling. We've had the ATSC HDTV standard in shipping products for about 14 years, IIRC. Sure most displays were expensive back then and most were only 720p of physical pixels, but the transmission and decoding had to be able to handle up to 1080i back then. Moore's Law gives us a doubling of computing power power every 2 years or so. So we've had about 7 doublings during this time, or about 128 times the pixel processing power. Going from 1080p to 4K is only 4 times as many pixels. Throw in one doubling for 1080p instead of 1080i, and another from 720 to 1080. We still have at least 4x more processing capacity per pixel as we did back then.There is no doubt that we can make large LCD displays with the pixel density needed to display 4K video. We have handheld displays, sold by the millions that do 1080p today. A 40" - 60" display is technically easy...excepting that the yields might not be that good...but a few dead pixels on such a display would not be a big deal...for a low price.Source material. I wouldn't think of a new disc format...but streaming from Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, iTunes, etc is how you are going to get this, IMO. Any animated feature movie can easily be made in whatever resolution is desired...its just 4x as much computing. Top tier films are already shot in 4K for digital theaters...some are moving to 8K already. So there is not a lot of existing content...but there are plenty of movies (hundreds or a thousand or so) that could be made available...just a packaging post processing decision...not a reshoot.It is not going to happen very soon or quickly...but 4K displays are going to trickle out for the next few years, then maybe a big push in 2015 or 2017.Mike
Good post, Mike and thanks for catching my blooper of horizontal versus vertical.I think the greater problem with 4K is delivery affected by bandwidth. We’re somewhat pushing the limits of 1080i/p across satellite and cable and even that is delivered in compressed form. Add to that the advanced sound codecs and the bandwidth per channel is considerable. Right now the only way to have an uncompressed 1080p signal is through Blu-ray disc.More movies are being shot in digital 4K and super-35mm with the final cut delivered to theaters on hard drives since there’s no real way to transmit directly to the theater. The following release of the movie to the public is scaled down to 1080 because that is the extent of the media.I think you’re right as the distribution system moves toward on-line access yet the maximum that stream can be recorded is 1080 (using the hard drive in a DVR). So, for 4K (and beyond) recording for home use has to be 4K. Or, more probably, a system that upscales (as some projection TVs do now)..Or, and this is not left field, a new loss-less video compression forced into being because of limits on bandwidth. Problem I see with this is the need for a unit needed to do this (let’s call it an ‘expander’) added into the chain from satellite/cable to screen.Good post, Mike.MichaelR
I think the greater problem with 4K is delivery affected by bandwidth. We’re somewhat pushing the limits of 1080i/p across satellite and cable and even that is delivered in compressed form. Add to that the advanced sound codecs and the bandwidth per channel is considerable. Right now the only way to have an uncompressed 1080p signal is through Blu-ray disc.There is no such thing as a delivery medium that does not use compression. The max bitrate for Blu-ray is 40 Mbps and it is highly compressed. 40 Mbps is the peak (for the video portion), but most discs are much lower than that, on average, such as 20 - 30 Mbps. An uncompressed 1080p 24 fps video takes this many bits:1920 * 1080 * 24 bits/pixel * 24 fps = 1194 MbpsAnd a 4K stream would be 4777 Mbps. We will never have such a format...and we don't need it. MPEG-2, H.264, etc compress this by converting to YUV (or YCbCr) which converts to luma + chroma and removes 75% of the chroma data, then their is some lossy compression as well as some lossless compression to get 10-20x smaller data.When you move to 4K resolution you have 4x the number of bits in the uncompressed file, but the compressed file does not grow by 4x. You get higher compression ratios just from the physics involved (I can explain if needed). So while Blu-ray is 40 Mbps max and maybe 25 Mbps typical, a 4K video might be 30-35 Mbps typical and 60 Mbps max with the same quality per pixel. To confirm, just take your 15 or 20 MP camera and take a few shots at each different resolution and see how large the JPEGs are. Higher resolution needs fewer bits per pixel because there is less unique information per pixel (think about the anfle of view for each pixel as your eye sees it)We aren't pushing the limits of cable or satellite. They keep adding channels to use up bandwidth. They could easily reduce channel count and increase Mbps per channel, if they wanted to and if people would pay for it. It isn't a technical problem, it is a business choice.delivered to theaters on hard drives since there’s no real way to transmit directly to the theater.They could easily send via Internet or satellite. The issue is security, accountability and reliability. Sending a HDD has about the same delay as sending reels of film and is cheaper. And they are (or were) working on a industry spec for electronic delivery.Or, and this is not left field, a new loss-less video compression forced into being because of limits on bandwidth. There are some lossless compressions schemes for things like WiGig that are being developed. They'll never be used for video delivery.We do have HEVC (unofficially H.265) which will soon be at version 1.0 of the spec. HEVC will get about 2x better compression than H.264 (aka AVC) for the same quality, once the encoders are mature (maybe 2-3 years). 1080p Blu-ray quality for 8-10 Mbps, perhaps.Mike
After more than a decade on TMF I shouldn’t be – yet am – surprised at the depth and relevancy of some posters and their replies. Mike, you really know your stuff.I learned much.A pleasure to read.MichaelR
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