With new Ultra HD TVs being released, and announcements of cinema-style camcorders in recent years, 4K resolution is poised to become the new standard for digital cinema, digital television and computer graphics. Some of the advantages of having 4K resolutions include higher image definition quality, displays of more detailed pictures, and a larger projection surface visibility.

4K technically refers to a very specific display resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels, though many people use it to refer to any display resolution that has roughly 4000 horizontal pixels. 4K, officially known as Ultra HD or Ultra High Definition, is sometimes also referred to as 4K x 2K, Quad High Definition, or 2160p. With so many digital technology brands moving towards the 4K standard, 4K is already on the way to being the next big thing in the video industry.

What 4K Really Means for Consumers

4K Allows For Fuller Immersion

4K resolution is significant because the increased number of pixels means it can deliver consumers a greatly improved and detailed video display image for larger TV screen sizes, as well as reduce the ability for viewers to see any visible pixel structure on the screen. This allows users to sit about 1.6m from the screen and still enjoy what is playing on screen without the pixel grid becoming obvious.

4K Does Wonders For 3D

For current 3D TVs that employ the Passive Polarized Glasses method of viewing, the light from the screen is split into two, therefore halving the resolution of 3D images to 540p (960 x 540 pixels) for each eye. However, by employing a 4K resolution panel or screen, the same 3D images are now increased to a 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) for each eye, resulting in pin sharp 3D images.

4K Can Recreate 35mm Films Digitally

It is also possible to rescan and remaster 35mm films in 4K, without losing significant amounts of texture, detail, graduation, subtlety, color refinement and natural grain, leaving classics looking better than ever. Just as importantly, films that are shot digitally using 4K cameras can also be lasered onto film reels for use in older cinemas.

4K Film And TV Content Is Common And Growing

While there is currently no 4K content available, it is very much on the way, as there are already hundreds of movies like Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and television series like Breaking Bad, Criminal Minds, Justified getting converted and stored in 4K. And there are even more being filmed directly in the 4K digital format using a new generation of 4K-capable digital cameras like the RED Epic camera and Sony’s F65.

4K Delivery To The Home Is Closer Than You Think

As of mid 2010, Youtube has support for 4K video streaming, and soon enough, users will also be able to stream videos from Netflix in 4K resolution over the Internet – provided your desktops or laptops has a 4K-capable graphics card. It is also possible that 4K downloads could happen. Sony in particular is in a prime position to make 4K sources appear sooner rather than later given its ownership of both 4K content production and 4K mastering facilities.

4K Can Solve Controversies And Get Closer To Nature

4K’s ultra high-definition format also serves as a way to solve all those sporting controversies like “did the ball cross the line” or “was that handball really justified”. The high quality lets referees, key personnel and the media to zoom in closer to the action, allowing them to make a key call. The ability to capture such high levels of clarity even when focusing on a portion of the 4K image also makes it a great format for shooting nature documentaries, especially of animals, as documentarians can now film from a greater distance while still delivering high-resolution images.

4K Products Will Get Cheaper Over Time

As is the case with all new tech, 4K didn’t get off to the best of starts where pricing was concerned, with price premiums of $20,000 and above attached to anything with 4K features. But, as the tech expands and ages, price tags will lower. One example of an affordable 4K product is the 39-inch 4K TV released by Seiki in the US for $699. So bide your time and products with 4K features will soon come into your price range.

It’s safe to say the 4K resolution standard is fast approaching, and will soon be upon us. We hope this article has helped you understand this state-of-the-art technology, as we move forward to embrace the emerging 4K video standard.

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