CEDIA View: The 4K Sell
Respondents to CEDIA’s 2013 Size and Scope of the Residential Electronics
Industry only expect 11 percent of their TV sales in the next 12 months to come from Ultra HD/4K sets.
How has your company been selling 4K or Ultra HD? Has it been easy? Are clients asking for it? Are you able to answer their questions?
There is no doubt that there have been
a lot of questions about Ultra HD/4K. Is it just the next big thing that will become
outdated tech in the next year? Is it worth
These are questions you will certainly get if you have not already. Regardless of the project, commercial or residential—we all need to know the details on this technology. So what do you need to know?
1. What is 4K or Ultra HD?
Engineers have been working on a new standard for viewing, called Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD),which has four times the resolution of a 1080p display (3840 x 2160) and is equivalent to an 8-megapixel image.
What this means for the TV viewer is that the image will be extremely sharp even when one is viewing from a very close distance. On a 1080p display, viewers who sit too close to the screen will see little squares which are actually the spaces between the pixels.
On an Ultra HD display, the pixels are
so small that it would take a magnifying glass to view the space between them at normal viewing distances.
Simply viewing on an Ultra HD display does not automatically guarantee a better
image—because there are many other
variables such as transmission quality and
the actual content—but it certainly improves the possibilities.
2. Yes, you still need to work with HDMI
A good quality, certified “High Speed HDMI Cable” is required to achieve Ultra HD-4K support (to 30fps). The challenge is in finding an HDMI cable that is labeled High Speed that actually is High Speed.
There is a proliferation in the market of mislabeled cables due to the pre-2010 legacy of 1080p being the benchmark, and the misunderstanding that “1080p” and “High Speed” meant the same thing. 1080p is transmitted on a 148.5MHz Clock, being 4.455Gbps aggregate data rate.
By contrast, Ultra HD-4K requires double this at 8.91Gbps, and a genuine High Speed cable should be tested to 10.2Gbps.
Aside from finding the appropriate cable, you will also be looking at new HDMI challenges of signal speed and bandwidth for the 4K/Ultra-HD format.
4K/Ultra HD specifications are covered in the new CEDIA white paper Understanding 4K Technology: What You Need to Know as an Industry Professional, available free to CEDIA members; non-members may purchase a copy for $9.99.