Resolutions are like burgers – the bigger, the better. (Unless we’re talking about New Year’s Resolutions, in which case, keep them small to spare yourself from failure. Certainly, don’t resolve to stop eating burgers).
4K is the latest term being bandied about in the world of resolutions – but is it the right time to be taking advantage of it? Let’s have a look.
WHAT IS 4K?
Original HD (or 780p) is 1280 x 720 pixels, which evolved to Full HD (or 1080p) which has 1920 x 1080 pixels. 4K, also dubbed Ultra UD, has a whopping* resolution of 3840 by 2160 (*not to be confused with the Whopper burger).
In other words, it’s Full HD that’s been doubled both horizontally and vertically. That means 4K will give you four times the total number of pixels that you’d get from Full HD (4K: 8 294 400 pixels, Full HD: 2 073 600). With this brings a clearer image, more picture sharpness and the ability to accommodate larger, more delicious, displays.
Its name is arguably deceptive on two levels. Firstly, it’s a departure from the existing trend of describing a resolution by its number of vertical pixels. Secondly, it’s not actually 4K but rather 3.84K. Of course, neither 2160p or 3.84K sound quite as impressive.
SO THEN, WHAT ELSE ARE THEY HIDING?
In recent years, as the technology emerged and developed, 4K has received mixed reactions. While visually impressive, it was short on practicalities.
There wasn’t much content to watch, it requires high bandwidth to stream, devices weren’t equipped to play it and many important specifications were yet to be fully agreed on by manufacturers. Not to mention, it wasn’t cheap.
It seemed anyone who jumped on the trend may have been wiser to wait. But 2016 could change all that.
WHAT’S TO COME?
The landscape is shifting, fast. In Australia, the streaming giant Netflix is increasingly adding more 4K titles (though streaming it generally requires a fast internet connection of 15 to 20 Mbps), while Vimeo has just started rolling out 4K support to all its members.
Meantime, Ultra HD Blu-ray is finally a thing. The first Blu-ray discs will officially be released this month (including the smash hit Golden Globe Award winning “comedy” The Martian).
It’s not just about pixels, either. High Dynamic Range technology has the capacity to boost picture quality, regardless of how big your screen is. It enables the display to produce a much wider range of colours, and can carry subtle shading details that would otherwise get lost. The good news: HDR is being incorporated into many 4K TV sets currently entering the market.
In light of all this innovation, expect to see the number of people opting for the technology dramatically increase in the coming months. So, whether you’re creating video content or overhauling your hardware, 4K may just be… a most fitting resolution for 2016.
Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you take advantage of 4K, as well as other hot trends in video and animation!