4K on it's way

4K is what’s next. I’m ready for it, are you? No, you say? Well hopefully what I share can help sway you, or help prepare you for it.

Don’t buy a 4K TV yet!

What a second, didn’t I just say I was ready for it and it is what is coming next? Yes, but there are two reasons to wait. Obviously one is the high price, though an affordable “no frills” 4K TV is available right now, most 4K sets from well known brands will cost over $5000.

The other reason to wait is HDMI 1.4 is all that is packed into the current batch of 4K sets. According to the all knowing Wikipedia, “HDMI 1.4 increases the maximum resolution to 4K × 2K, i.e. 3840 × 2160p (Quad HD) at 24 Hz/25 Hz/30 Hz or 4096 × 2160p at 24 Hz (which is a resolution used with digital theaters).” So at max you’ll be seeing 30 frames per second at 3840 x 2160p. A 24 Hz refresh rate will be great for current movies, but it won’t be great for watching sports or other fast moving scenes. The HDMI 2.0 spec will allow for the full 4096 x 2160p at up to 60 Hz or 60 fps.

If you don’t care about those issues and still want to get one of the current batches of 4K TV’s, please don’t let me stop you.

Why 4K is “needed”

You might not think it can get any better than a Bluray on your 1080p TV, but it can. However our current infrastructure for data transfer is not enough. With our current codecs, streaming 1080p takes around 20-25Mbps at high quality settings. Just imagine what streaming a file that has four times the amount of pixels would need.

Because of this a new codec H.265, which is obviously better than H.264, was created. H.265 will allow us to stream 4K video at 60fps with just a 10Mbps connection. Of course this is great if everyone decides on that codec.

Cable, satellite, and fiber companies will need to upgrade their infrastructure if we are moving over to 4K television programming. However, the cost could be shifted to the consumers the way they did it when HD was an option you could upgrade to.

On it’s way

Whether you want to upgrade or not, 4K is coming. It’s an excuse for TV manufactures to charge huge amounts of money for TV’s. It’s an excuse for Cable, satellite, and fiber companies to charge for “premium” offerings. And best of all, it’s an excuse for me to get a new TV.

Now what’s all this talk I hear about 8K?