Saturday, March 26, 2011

There's more sense to 4K than you might think

Last year, at the Mediapark Jaarcongres 2010, Frank Kresin talked about 4K. Afterwards, I asked him what kind of bandwidth requirements would go with it. It appeared to be: 8 Gb/s for uncompressed and just under 1 Gb/s for compressed material.

Last week, DisplaySearch published its TV forecast, stating: "We anticipate seeing the first product release by the end of 2011, with very small volumes in 2012". Herman has been doing the math, and concludes that 4K would require 240 Mb/s.

Whatever the case is (it all depends on the assumptions for the precise numbers of lines, pixels, frames per second and compression), the high-level conclusions are:
  • 4K is coming. And if you want to say: forget it, people hardly see the difference between SD and HD, then I would add: that is precisely why we need 4K! HD is fine, but we need a bigger distinction to SD.
  • 4K will benefit 3-D. To be sure: 4K is the evolution of HD, not 3-D. But, as DisplaySearch puts it: "There are other reasons to introduce higher resolution, even where it is not viewable. The most obvious is for passive 3D glasses. Doubling the number of lines is necessary to restore 1080 lines to each eye, and would overcome the main objection to passive 3D".

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