4K Technology is Here to Stay
Satellites are beaming down 4K content. 4K movies and shows are available on-demand through the most popular streaming media services. People are recording 4K videos from the palms of their hands. 4K Blu-ray discs are launching by the end of the year. Yes, it’s official… 4K is here to stay!
So, what is 4K? The answer is simple. Higher resolution images. 4K technology has rewritten the rulebook when it comes to image quality. Multiply the number of pixels on your current 1080p screen displays by four, and that’s how many pixels are in 4K displays…around 8 million. The more pixels there are the more detail that can be brought to an image. Those 8 million pixels make all the difference. With 4 times the resolution of current 1080P, you can see the dimples on a golf ball as you watch one of the pros line up his putt.
4K is not just another trend.
The 4K market is growing fast and 4K TV’s are much more affordable than ever before. More and more content is being developed to pair with the capabilities offered in 4K. The question is who is providing 4K content? Today, anyone can create 4K videos. On a consumer level, 4K recording is now included in everything from smartphones and camcorders to drones and GoPros. And the prices for these devices are rapidly dropping.
Big movie studios, such as Sony Pictures Entertainment, have been recording and remastering movies in 4K for years. Sony began offering 4K projectors as early as 2004. The projection of 4K movies took hold of the masses in 2011 as more 4K movies were released and more theaters adopted the new technology.
Today, there are more ways than ever to get 4K content.
For on-demand streaming, you can fire up Netflix or Amazon Instant Video to get movies and TV shows delivered in 4K quality. Each service offers exclusive movies and shows which were filmed or remastered in 4K. More streaming media services, such as Vudu and Hulu, have announced plans to release 4K content within the year. Looking to improve your golf swing? You can watch golf tutorials in glorious 4K on YouTube!
YouTube has been streaming 4K videos since 2010. To get the best 4K experience you will need a fast broadband connection. 4K content is becoming increasingly accessible as Google, Verizon, and AT&T have been rolling out gigabit internet services around the U.S.
Don’t have a fast internet connection? Late last year, Direct TV launched a satellite capable of sending 4K content down to subscribers. Currently, the satellite service provider offers a set-top box which works with compatible 4K Ultra HD TV’s to bring on-demand 4K entertainment. DISH Network is working on bringing the new standard of television to the masses without the need for a fast internet connection. 4K satellite broadcasts have been available in the United Kingdom since early this year. Recently, tech companies have been successfully testing over-the-air 4K content through antennas. That’s right, revitalizing the old rabbit ears to receive 4K content.
For film buffs looking to get true cinema quality picture and sound without a monthly subscription to a new service, prepare yourself for 4K Blu-Ray. These 4K capable devices are coming at the end of the year. 4K movies require much more space than full 1080P movies; however, advancement of the Blu-ray technology will bring 4K content in its best form to existing disc size. No streaming. No internet connection. With 4K Blu-ray movies, you’ll notice nuances of characters and scenes that you’ve never been able to see before.
With 4K, you’ll unlock more of the story by seeing the film the way the director intended.
When it comes to consumer use, 4K is the pinnacle of picture clarity. But, what’s beyond 4K? In the future, 4K TV’s will come equipped with organic light emitting diodes, also known as OLED. This technology enhances 4K’s colors palette providing vibrant colors, deep blacks, and bright whites. You also may have heard of some companies working on 8K, which offers four times the resolution of 4K. 8K will be used more for commercial applications, such as entire wall coverings and high-end home theaters.
The future is clear for 4K
With the recent price drops, 4K content and new 4K delivery systems in place now is the time to make the switch to the next generation of television. Once you make the jump, you’ll never want to go back.
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