October 19, 2015

4k TV inevitable?

"No," says a broadcasting pro in this interesting piece from TechRadar: The TV industry wants you to go 4K, but the professionals won't be joining you. Are we in danger of falling for the manufacturers hype again?
"In 2013 the average UK screen size in the UK was 36.8 inches (diagonal). At this time Sharp was predicting that by 2015 the average screen size would be 60". Here we are in 2015 and the latest BARB research suggests that the majority of UK homes own a main screen in the 35-50" range. Only some 3% of homes have a 51"+ size screen."
For me that's the hard reality of the dimensions of the average UK home. As I walked the other night around the streets where I live I was amazed to see how many large panels are bolted (too) high on living room walls, but I reckon few if any are over 50 inches.  Living rooms just aren't big enough, and no-one really likes sitting in the front row of the cinema, do they? Worst seat in the house.
So 4K to my mind will only become dominant if it comes with a telly whether you want it or not. Much like 3D, broadcasters will struggle with the bandwidth requirements and lack of content, and in a market where DVDs still outsell Blu-Ray discs the appetite for greater than 1080p resolution is questionable, especially if it comes at a premium.
There's more to 4K than just packing in the pixels, but I can't see people upgrading solely to get the upscaled content and odd BT or Sky channel.


rowland2008 said...

I read the article you've put a link to,while i did not understand all of it i get the feeling that the logical step is shelving 4K,and upgrading existing HD with HDR,personally i think it is all down to price,people are happy with DVD as recently the release of Jurassic world on BD was £5 more than the DVD,the general public will not pay extra,call it apathy but picture quality is way down the list of prioryties for the general public.
I recently installed a tivo box for a friend on the XL package and he saw HD for the first time while being impressed he could not see what all the fuss was about and now watches the same SD channels as before but with the ability to record which he is far more interested in,i on the other hand due to downgrading my virgin package get most channels in SD i never thought i would watch the Walking Dead in SD but my cheap LG 50" plasma makes a surprisingly good job,not ideal but at the end of the day its all about the wonger....all the best Dave.

Nialli said...

I love watching movies on Blu Ray but my Sony BR player does a great job with DVD content too, so it's normally a luxury purchase to shell out for the Blu Ray over DVD (42in Sony TV).
I have been trying movies through other sources recently and bought Jurassic World on Amazon Instant Video in 1080p (via my Sony TV) and the quality was exceptional. I had considered buying it via Sky Store on my Now TV box to get the DVD bundled in, but the Now box is only 720p.
When I used to work for TimeWarner we got discs through the company at special prices and they charged us the same discounted cost for Blu Ray and DVD, so I doubt the cost of manufacture justifies the high price of Blu Ray.

rowland2008 said...

Its funny but i upgraded to a BluRay player 5 years ago to take advantage of Blockbuster stores rentals(i used to love looking thru the shelves) and second hand BD's,i now have a year old LG BluRay player that has never seen a BD,the odd DVD but mostly i bought it for the apps,lovefilm,nowtv,spotify,deezer and more, but mostly i use the Netflix, surprisingly my newish Roku 2 box has not got the new firmware upgrades i believe its the same box as NowTv use,i too am more than happy with 1080p, Netflix streams in 1080p and i must say Breaking Bad looked spectacular.You did not say how much you paid for your Amazon copy also the idea of a physical albeit DVD copy thru Sky store does sound interesting.

Mark said...

Leaving aside the 4K debate, I'm amazed to read anyone is still watching on DVD when they have a Blu-Ray Player!

Since I upgraded to Blu-Ray I haven't looked back. Certainly, there are still titles which are not available on BD and which therefore can only be seen in DVD quality, but otherwise it's 1080p all the way for me. I have a 55" Sony.

The argument that the player "upscales" DVD sounds exactly like the old chestnut that Virgin decoders were able to upscale standard definition broadcasts. I won't accept the quality of either.

I'll cross the 4K bridge when I come to it….

Mark said...

By the way, purchasing a DVD (with a rental) from Sky Store is ridiculously expensive. Cheaper to simply purchase simply a Blu-Ray and watch in High Definition anyway.

Jez24 said...

Of course 4k will become the new standard. it's called progress. It will take time, a long time probably, but it will happen. There is no doubt that 1080 is pretty good for most, especially when the source material is good enough (made in 4K!)in the same when SD looked better when showing HD material. But in five years time all new TV's will be 4k and all programs will be made in 4K, the streamers will be using 4k, even BT is using 4k now, which only leaves the big three dinosaurs in SD and HD. As for TV's not getting bigger, watch this space! 55" is already the new 40". Everyone I now who had brought a 40" in the last year has said those immortal words " I wish I had got the next size up"

rowland2008 said...

I went for a 50", brilliant for films,sport but i payed the price in picture quality by going for the cheapest, last of the plasmas at under £500,i would love a good 55"4k ready, I'm not going to skimp this time if i can get it past the wife, any recommended sets at this size.

Dan said...

There are two parts to the discussion price and timescale, if you are commenting here you are at the end of the population who care, most people don't they want a TV that works, is good "enough" and they can afford.

The idea that the average TV was going to change from 37 to 60 inches in only two years is clearly a nonsense, most people don't buy a new TV every year, or even every 2 years, maybe the average size of those sold gets bigger faster and that's all the manufacturers care about but the average of what is out there takes much longer and that is what content providers have to react to.

In terms of HD v SD, I ha both, I can clearly tell the difference on my nice big 55 inch screen, but ironically I tend if i am recording to tivo Record in SD as I can then fit more in and I am probably going to delete most things after a single viewing anyway.

Mat Guy said...

Bought a 50inch last year - haven't watched one 3d blu ray I have bought. It's a gimmick. I bought the TV as it has awesome 2d picture quality. 4k is not what I am interested in right now as the distance to sit from it to get the benefit doesn't work with my room size. Same for anything over 50inch.

What I do want and is the reason I will buy my films on BR is the HD audio formats - dolby true HD and DTS HD MA. If the film looks that good, it's gotta sound that good as well. Sky/virgin/bt/netflix/Amazon prime/itunes don't offer these audio preferences so disc will remain my go to format...

Unknown said...

Rather ironic to see an article saying that 4K isn't inevitable or likely to become widespread shortly after the launch of the first 4K Blu-Ray players - which are timed to coincide with an orchestrated release of 4K Blu-Ray - and less than 1-month before Sky release their 4K TV set-top box and initial channel lineups! That will of course have been timed to be announced shortly before the huge Christmas and New Year shopping sprees and sales where there will be more 4K TVs available and on sale than ever before.
4K TV "not" inevitable? No! 😀

Craig said...

I have a 40inch 4K 3D tv and a 3D bluray that can upscale to 4K no going.back for me even some Blu-ray Disc are available in 4K