4K Technology: One of the Leading Trends in 2014

Published On March 4, 2014 | Electronics, Tech Business

One of the most popular discussions at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this past January was about 4K technology.

Even though it debuted in 2013, people familiar with the audio-video and home theater industry still aren’t 100 percent sure they know what the future holds for 4K technology. There certainly has been a lot of hype surrounding 4K TVs, but to date, they have not been selling at a high pace.

You might ask, what is 4K technology? For starters, 4K simply means 4,000 pixels, or in comparison, nearly four times clearer than standard 1080 pixel HD. Where there is four times the picture quality, there is also about four times the cost.

The early adopters of 4K TVs paid upwards of $5,000 just for the television, although for brands like Samsung and Sony, the price has dropped considerably to around $3,000 for a 55-inch or 65-inch screen.

A caveat about 4K TVs is that in order to even see something in 4K quality, the program you are watching has to be supported by the technology. For instance, if you are just watching reruns of Seinfeld on cable, the picture is not going to be in 4K quality just from watching it on a 4K TV.

Sony has released a 4K Ultra HD Media Player which has 4K content to choose from, including movies and television shows. The problem is that there’s not a ton of 4K content available yet. There have been rumors that Netflix will be coming out with a 4K option, which would be sure to boost sales for 4K technology quite a bit.

Another caveat is that audio-video and home theater industry folk are not convinced quite yet that 4K technology is that great of a leap over standard 1080p HD resolution. Although just from watching some of the demos of native 4K content, an average consumer will likely be blown away by the crystal clarity of the resolution.

Despite all of this, 4K Ultra HD TV shipments are expected to increase from 1.9 million in 2013 to 12.7 million in 2014, according to CEpro.com, with prices likely to continue to drop in the upcoming quarter.

Another advanced technology innovation in the world of 4K is cameras. Since many of the 4K native content is shot in 4K, some of the new options available for cameras are incredible. The video quality is amazing – high production professional quality video that can go a long way in your video creation. Essentially a 4K camera shoots cinematic quality resolution.

Of course, when video camera quality increases, so does the quality of cell phone camera technology. Some new cell phones, like the Sony Xperia Z2, have the ability to shoot stunning 4K video from the device. Due to the high resolution, the video content takes up a large amount of space on your phone so it is important if you have this feature to save video files to an external hard drive. The Sony Xperia Z2 also allows you to watch some videos in 4K resolution, but just as the case is with the TVs, there is not a lot of content to choose from.

Even though 4K content is still few and far between, all signs point to 4K becoming the way of the future in video technology.

– By Tim Alan

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