Relative merits and Demerits of 4k (circa 2016)

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4k has been the buzzword in video for quite sometime now. What is it exactly, though? In very simple terms it denotes a display resolution of 4096 x 2160 megapixels and aspect ratio (16:9). A High Definition TV with 1080p resolution is composed of two million pixels (1920 x 1080), while a 4K TV (aka Ultra High Definition) has over eight million pixels (4096 x 2160). Therefore, 4K has around four times more resolution than 1080p and produces a clearer picture.

Advantages of 4k

  • 4K standard will address the demand for vastly improved resolution in professional devices such as broadcast and cinema quality cameras, projectors, and displays.
  • The 4k revolution isn’t just about quadrupling resolution, it also supports faster frame rates, insane contrast dynamics ,extended colours and variety of viewing distances on different screen sizes.

Disadvantages (not necessarily of the format itself, but also market factors in India)

  • It is still a very expensive technology with projectors & TVs running into a few lakhs of rupees,
  • Has the software needed to support 4k progressed with the hardware?
    • It’s unclear at this point how this content will be distributed, though live screenings at cinemas are very likely.
    • While there are currently no cable boxes that will support 4K in the india, the industry is gearing up for a new broadcast standard which is promised to deliver 4K resolutions.
    • The number of pixels produced by 4K resolution is four times that of full-HD 1,080p, but the file sizes for typical length 4K movies are enormous, even when stored at half the native 48-FPS (frames-per-second) frame-rate. Forget about gigabytes (GB), it’s time to think about terabyte (TB) sized files that are one-thousand times larger.