4k video TVs are starting to appear at consumer trade shows and generate a lot of interest, the question is whether or not this technology is going to ever reach a market bigger than its failed 3D cousin. 4k video TVs, or Ultra High Definition TVs, are already showing more promise than 3D TVs for capturing a significant market share, and that is without there being any 4D content available.
What is it?
It is an oversimplification, but accurate, to see that the greatest advance offered by 4K Video TVs is the screen is bigger than anything else offered. What was demonstrated by the 3D TV experiment is that consumers would rather pay for a large screen to gain a full immersion experience than a smaller one that required an accessory be worn to view it. The new 4K Video TVs offer screens that are almost 4 times the size of the largest HDTV and contain 4 times the resolution quality. One of the current issues with 4k Video TVS is the lack of industry standardization for what that resolution will be. This has led to the adoption of the term, Ultra High Definition (UHD), to try and assign a consistent pixel quantity of at least 3,840×2, 160 pixels. This range makes it inclusive of the TVs marketed as Quad HDTV as well.
Why watch it?
With no real 4k media content, why would anyone purchase 4k Video TVs when their base list price is coming in at over $17,000 a set? The answer is quality. While lacking its own specific content, the 4k screen has the unique advantage of being able to deliver a 1080p viewing experience to each eye of the viewer. This means that HD and 3D content, when viewed on the UHD screen, is sharper and more real. It transforms the 3D viewing experience into near 3D without the assistance of glasses as well. As more and more movies and television shows are begin shot digitally, the potential for a mass release of 4k enhanced content material is great. Given the success of the re-mastering of Star Wars film, The Phantom Menace, into 3D; which was only made possible due to large sections of the film being shot digitally there is a library of available content that may come into play.
Is it ready to buy?
The television industry has suffered in the past decades from releasing new television technology while it was still within its beta stages. One of the greatest harms to the potential of the 3D TV came from the demo models not functioning reliably. The new 4k video TVs are past the beta stage and can be a good investment for some. Until there is more accessible content, and viewers know the price range of the subscription content, 4k video TVs are not going to become more than a novelty.