Making 4K a reality

Sue Marek4K is the next-generation of high definition TV with four times the resolution of current HD screens. Unlike 3D, which failed to take off due to multiple technical hurdles, many expect 4K to blossom and become the next step in the high-definition migration path.

Analysts, for the most part, are bullish on 4K's future.  Parks Associates expects 80 percent of people to have a 4K viewing device in the next 10 to 12 years.  But much of this migration is dependent upon price points--in the next three to five years Parks expects 4K TVs to get down to the $1,000 price point, making them much more appealing to consumers.

So far there are some first generation 4K TVs on the market, primarily in Asia. IHS Research reports that 4K TV shipments topped 1 million a month in March and total sales could surpass 15.2 million by year-end.  

But there are some hurdles to 4K's progress.  According to The Diffusion Group, the lack of end-to-end infrastructure is standing in the way of 4K despite the fact that content creators, service providers and TV manufacturers are betting on 4K to be the next great step in TV technology that will drive sales and provide a differentiator in devices and services.

But not all programmers are sold on the move to 4K video. In an interview with FierceCable Contributing Editor Jim Barthold, Michael Davies, senior vice president, field and technical operations at FoxSports said 4K is a huge investment for broadcasters and he thinks it will be some time before 4K becomes widespread in the broadcast industry--noting that the industry as a whole just made a huge investment in upgrading to HD.

Interestingly, Davies also speculates that some may be waiting to see what happens with 8K video, which is already being trialed in Japan.  You can see the full text of the Davies interview by downloading our 4K ebook here.

Transitioning to a new technology is never easy--it comes with numerous technological and cost hurdles. In this ebook from FierceCable, we analyze the challenges that face content owners and distributors in migrating to 4K.--Sue