Is the world ready for 4k resolution?

In a world where everything has to be HD or High Definition, are we really ready to jump on the 4k bandwagon?

We have been creating video content for both online and offline for 12 years and in that time clients always want everything in High Definition, I do sometimes wonder if they really know what that means.  It’s not always necessary to have everything at 1080p, for pure web video use in many situations 720p HD works just as well.  For content such as exhibitions and large LED Tv’s then yes 1080p is a better visual choice.

I was recently walking around my local PC World store and decided to have a ganders around the Tv section, I noticed they are now pushing 4k resolution quite heavily, even though there are currently only 2 channesl that provides it.  The quality of 4k is a no brainer.. stunning. But that’s running on a top end TV with a price tag of £4-5k, the lesser priced 4k TV’s look rather dull and grainy if I am honest.

In the past we have had clients ask us “How many megatrons is this video?” and with much hilarity we said “We will ask Buck Rodgers and get back to you“.  I think as video content providers we feel now is not the time to be pushing 4k out as final productions, we do shoot and work with 4k but that’s a production decision that’s gives us more freedom for grading and compositing nothing more.

Clients still struggle with the concept of playing true HD offline, with many thinking they can use a standard DVD player to show there shiny new production, so a little education from ourselves helps with solutions for this issue.

There are still a huge number of people out there who do not have the capacity to play HD on their Tv, this is where, iPads, Tablets and Smartphones come in to play, and until the UK goes fully digital and HD is forced upon us all in the home, 4k for us is a long way off.

So while it is brilliant our industry is dipping it’s toes into the bigger resolution pond, I predict that 4k won’t be the norm in the home/ workplace till at least around 2018 onwards, so don’t rush out thinking you need that 5 grand TV just yet, you don’t!

what are your thoughts on 4k?