Audio Minute: 4K Television Revisited

Steve Wildstrom / May 31st, 2013

A closer look at the 4K TV format convinces me it has a real future.

Steve Wildstrom

Steve Wildstrom is veteran technology reporter, writer, and analyst based in the Washington, D.C. area. He created and wrote BusinessWeek’s Technology & You column for 15 years. Since leaving BusinessWeek in the fall of 2009, he has written his own blog, Wildstrom on Tech and has contributed to corporate blogs, including those of Cisco and AMD and also consults for major technology companies.
  • Defendor

    Seeing a big difference in tech demos where the screens are bigger and closer than they are in a typical home is one thing.

    But it is my observation that most people are already beyond the distance with their TV where even seeing the benefit of 1080p over 720p is questionable. This is the case in every home I have visited (Mine included). Also factor in that DVDs are still outselling Blu Rays.
    In most cases, in the real world this will amount to a much smaller increment than DVD/SD to Blu-Ray/HD was.

    I was very enthusiastic about BluRay/HD, but I am only interested in 4K TV, if it is essentially zero cost increment.

  • James King

    The main benefit of 4K TVs for the mainstream will be the improvement of GUI elements and text. They will function more like huge PC monitors. As TVs become “smarter” and utilize sophisticated operating systems to improve functionality, screen real estate will become more valuable. More resolution allows smaller elements to be presented on a screen with greater visibility and improves the sharpness and legibility of larger elements. For instance, the GUIs of consoles would benefit greatly from the sharper resolution.

  • jfutral

    Regarding the future, sure. I can see that. The problem the industry had with 3d (even though I hate current 3d concepts) was they just got people to pony up thousands of dollars on HD tvs. Did they really think the enthusiasm was going to continue for device people had learned to pay the $250 range?

    And not just consumers, but the whole creative industry is _still_ paying up to HD. It wasn’t that long ago the local CBS affiliate in Atlanta would use all its available HD bandwidth on a given day for sports and the rest of the evening program was SD resolution. It isn’t just consumer purchasing that needs to catch up.

    So while 4k could very well be the future, will that be soon enough to still be relevant and not supplanted by the next thing?

    Just some thoughts,
    Joe

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