Newsletter Issue #810: The Possibilities of 4K and Cord Cutting

June 8th, 2015

It’s fair to say that the TV makers are confronting a dilemma. Picture quality continues to improve, and prices for standard sets with 1080p screen resolutions are going down, so profits are slim. Although some models are still available with 3D, it’s yesterday’s news except for the multiplex. 3D in the home hasn’t done terribly well. Being forced to wear glasses for two hours in the theatre is one thing, and people still do that for some films. But having to do it in the home is just plain awkward.

Besides, what happens if you don’t have enough glasses on hand to accommodate family and friends? Do those left out just sit there and endure a distorted image so a few can enjoy the questionable benefits of 3D? I’m just asking the question, but the TV makers have already given their answer. They attempted to extend 3D into the home, and the venture failed. Maybe when there’s a successful technology that doesn’t require glasses, they’ll try again. But right now they’re busy with 4K.

4K is also referred to as Ultra HD, although there may be technical niceties that make them potentially different. Roughly speaking it means four times as many pixels, thus yielding a sharper image. That sounds promising on the surface, particularly if you recall the difference between a regular display and a Retina display on your computer or mobile device. Or standard definition and HD. It’s night and day, right?

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2 Responses to “Newsletter Issue #810: The Possibilities of 4K and Cord Cutting”

  1. DFS says:

    A few comments. First, I don’t see the point of buying a 3-D set when there’s so little content available (and a lot of what is available seems to consist of kids’ movies. which is great if you happen to be a kid but not otherwise). 3-D has been around a while and the situation doesn’t seem to be changing very much, nobody seems interested in making whatever extra investment may be involved. Is the same thing going to happen with 4k content? Second, when I bought my first HD set, it immediately became apparent that it made great photography look even greater and lousy photography look even worse. And I became a lot more conscious of how much bad photography finds its way onto the air. I realize that in the case of on-the-spot news footage this is probably inevitable, but the poor quality of some programming is notable and some ads (even for premium products like Cadillacs) is such that I’m amazed the client agreed to pay the agency for what they were given. I can’t help wondering if 4k might intensify this effect. Third, when Gene complains about the woes involved in multiple devices, up to a point he is really complaining about the iffy quality of the universal remotes currently on the market. A lot of the difficulties would be solved by the advent of a great remote (and, by the way, the remote you get bundled with the Apple TV is not exactly Apple’s most stellar product).

  2. DFS says:

    By the way, I wouldn’t be surprised if “a great remote” turned out to be a great iOS/Android app.

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