When John Logie Baird first successfully transmitted the first true ‘television’ picture in his laboratory in 1925, he did so with a 30-line scanned image, at a rate of five pictures per second. It’s true to say that television has come a long way since then. The latest buzz in video circles is ‘4K’ – an upgrade on current HD resolutions that allows for mind-blowing visuals.
The standard full HD resolution is currently 1080p, or two million pixels. A 4K Ultra HD TV enhances that resolution four times over, using eight million pixels and giving a sense of clarity never seen before on TV. It will be close to watching a living high-definition photograph come to life before your very eyes.
One real advantage with 4K TV technology comes with 3D images. Currently, 3D on TV is created by transmitting two images at once – one for the right eye and one for the left. Special glasses separate the images, making sure each eye receives the correct one and thus creating the 3D effect. As the two images are broadcast at 1080p, the actual composite image has a resolution of 540p, which can seem ‘fuzzy’. 4K TV allows 3D images to be transmitted at 2160p – double the clarity of the current full HD resolution.
All major broadcasters and video producers have already begun to wake up to the 4K technology challenge, knowing that consumers will soon be demanding video with 4K resolution. All modern films are shot in high resolution, so converting those to 4K won’t be a problem, and it’s possible to up-scale classic films to 4K. At present, there is no disc technology for 4K as even a Blu-ray Disc lacks the capacity to hold a 4K TV movie. Streaming services such as Netflix will be able to stream video at the necessary rate, as long as customers have sufficient bandwidth.
Naturally, smartphones and tablets will also have to adapt themselves to this new technology standard as well. Not only will they have to come up with visual displays that can render video at the 4K resolution, they’ll also have to develop software capable of recording video at this new, ultra high-definition rate. The good news is that the technology is already on the way, and smartphones with Ultra HD screens should be here en masse by 2015.
As for recording video at 4K, this technology is already with us. In September 2013, Acer announced the Liquid S2 that features a camera and software capable of recording 4K video. Many other smartphones have now followed suit, giving the Average Joe the capability of recording video at this new amazing resolution, and preserving memories in a way that’s never been previously possible.
Soon family videos – such as those shot by you and produced by The Memory Theater – will be enjoyed at this stunning new resolution. You’ll be able to create your own biographical movies of your children growing up at a video resolution that wouldn’t look at all out of place in your local movie house!