Just as the world sets its eyes at HDTV, video engineers and scientists are preparing to “wow” us with resolutions that far exceed what we consider high. Envision TV beyond your dreams as resolutions become greater and greater. Can TV, one day, compete with reality for visual clarity and depth? The fantasy is being realized.
2013 ushers availability of a much talked-about television resolution standard, 4K. HDTV models are normally up to 1080p (1920×1080) but 4K expects to offer 2160p (3840×2160) Ultra HDTV is promising a vast improvement. According to the Japanese NHK network, UHDTV sports up to 8K (7,680 x 4,320) resolution, which is 16 times the resolution used in current HDTV formats, and twice the resolution of digital cinema. The system also uses 22.2 channel surround sound (a bit more than your average 5.1). Several manufacturers are releasing 4K models at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2013) and available high-end audio receivers are allowing easy adapters for 4K audio upgrades.
Indeed, movie studios are now seeking to deliver 4K and 8K in future features by Pixar and the new Hobbit movie.
NHK recorded the London 2012 Olympics with 4K cameras for large screen and future release.
Whether it’s called Ultra HDTV (UHDTV) or Super Hi-Vision, the new technologies of capture and display are viewed as the true future of large-screen TV, after the less than enthusiastic response to 3D TV.
For now, UHDTV is technologically becoming feasible but, at realistic levels, 4K broadcasting isn’t seen practical until 2016, with 8K following in 2020. Meanwhile, the USA still follows the 720p standard. 1080p is only generated from Blu-ray and certain computer-generated video. Lines will need to be drawn to establish parameters to bring UHDTV economically to broadcasters and users.
Perhaps, decades from now, movie theaters will become extinct and people will be able to get entertainment from computer systems at 4K or better. New video cards for PC models are being developed with 4K technologies in place. New games are being developed for 4K display. This may be the resource of visual home entertainment and communication for future generations. UHDTV is happening.