The past few years have featured the revolution of 4K that provides four times the resolution of today’s 1080p displays. The adoption of this amazing technology, however, has been hindered by several factors including the cost and compatibility issues. CES 2015 offered us a glance at how the UltraHD technology is no longer a far-reach, but an affordable solution for mass adoption. With new hardwares being announced and content producers releasing original 4K content, it’s possibly the best time to fully invest in a brand new 4K media system.
1. The Hardware Costs Are Going Down
The initial 4K compatible devices represented prices only a handful could afford. This made it particularly difficult for casual customers to fully embrace the era of 4K. However, the proliferation of the available products in the past year has enabled manufacturers to bring down costs for producing fully compatible 4K displays and projectors.
Most recently, Sony launched their first 4K projector to break the £6k barrier. The release of Sony VW300ES is a breakthrough for mass adoption of 4K hardware, while also offering high-end features such as the latest 4K/60p HDMI standard, advanced MotionFlow and RF 3D glasses compatibility. We are also seeing many manufacturers lowering the prices on Ultra HD compatible TVs in varying screen sizes. Samsung’s new stylish TVs feature a curved design that maximise the viewing angle and offer a more affordable 4K experience with prices starting from £2600.
2. 4K Content is Booming
The increasing amount of 4K compatible devices is certainly a great indicator of the widespread adoption of 4K across UK. But the role of original 4K content here is not to be neglected. There has been a lack of content to make use of gorgeous 4K display. However, the high speed internet and well-adopted streaming services are making the transformation into 4K even more convenient.
Youtube was one of the first adapters of 4K, who started their trials early 2014 and now supporting a wider variety of content available in 4K. Netflix, the leading online subscription service, has already been testing their 4K content since the end of 2013, with Amazon Instant Video joining the pack at the end of 2014. Movie studios are also releasing their feature films in Bluray UltraHD format, increasing the content availability for 4K even further.
On the broadcasting side, we will also see some heated developments in terms of technology adoption with hi-def content. Following BT’s announcement to start Ultra HD broadcasting of European football this fall, Sky is also expected to release their next generation set-top box in the first half of 2015. The viewers will definitely be the winners, who will be able to enjoy next-generation quality content on their compatible TVs and projectors.
3. Ultra HD systems are becoming hassle-free
One obstacle in widespread 4K adoption has been the lack of infrastructure in homes to support the Ultra HD. Your new 4K TV may appear glamorous out of the box, but without all the system components (cabling, Bluray player, media server) having compatibility with the high bandwidth Ultra HD requires, you may have trouble utilising the true potential 4K offers.
Crestron points out 5 key challenges with Ultra HD content distribution in media systems:
- Mismatched resolutions
- New frame rate considerations
- Signal integrity issues
- Cable length restrictions
- Source/display compatibility
These challenges, unless carefully tackled by expertise, might deem your investment in adapting the future irrelevant. Thankfully, integrators are now able to asses your needs and offer components that will maximise your investment in a 4K system.
A 4K future
It is no doubt that 4K represents a huge leap from 1080p technology, requiring immaculate selection of the each system component to future-proof your entertainment at home. However, if the promising updates coming in from both hardware manufacturers and content producers, it is absolutely safe to say that 2015 is the best time to finally say yes to 4K.
If you’d like to get a free consultation on how to take part in 4K revolution, contact us today.