Samsung’s currently has a 85-inch Ultra HD display is priced at $40,000, while LG has a 84-inch Ultra HD display priced at $17,000. LG Electronics and Samsung have each announced new 105-inch Ultra HD TV displays.
Both call their new displays the first and largest curved Ultra HD TVs so far. Each of the LCD displays has 11 million pixels, compared to 2 million in current HDTVs — providing improved resolution over current HDTVs. It is 40% more resolution than a 4K HDTV (with 8 million pixels). And the rectangular 21:9 aspect ratio, a shape similar to that of CinemaScope theater screens, is wider than current 16:9 widescreen HDTVs.
Ultra HD sets will upscale current HD content — on broadcast TV and Blu-ray Discs — to higher resolutions. And Hollywood has begun producing movies and TV series in Ultra HD quality.
Sony currently sells a $700 Video Unlimited 4K movie server that comes with 10 4K movies (The Amazing Spider-Man among them) and lets you rent or buy others. The final season of Breaking Bad is coming soon to the service. Meanwhile, Amazon has announced that all of its 2014 series including The After from Chris Carter (The X-Files) will be shot in 4K.
Netflix will be making the second season of House of Cards available through new 4K TVs expected in stores this March. “We need to solve the chicken-and-the-egg problem,” says Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt. “Until we’ve got a material base of appropriate devices, it’s hard to pursue people to make the content and until you’ve got a lot of content, it’s hard to persuade the device vendors to follow along,” he says.
Youtube has a 4K content channel, but you will need a computer with a 4K graphics card.
More content and lower-priced Ultra HDs will drive consumer adoption, Doherty says. “You are going to appreciate this in the average sized living room,” he says. “I think it’s safe to say that any household that can afford a $3,000 4K set (will have access to) tens of hours of content this (coming) calendar year.”
There are $1000 4K sets from no-name Chinese companies.
HDMI 2 increases bandwidth up to 18Gbps and supports 4K Ultra HD at 50/60 fps, with 12-bit 4:2:2 color (you don’t need any special cables for HDMI 2.0 interconnectivity, any current high-speed cable will work). However, only Panasonic currently offers an HDMI 2.0 compatible 4K TV, in the shape of the TX-L65WT600.
A 2160p upgrade on the Blu-ray standard is inevitable, of course, which will allow for true Ultra High Definition movies to be sold on disc.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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