This weekend I made it into our local Harvey Norman which happens to have one of the gorgeous 84” LG 4K or UHD TV. It’s impossible to miss on the store shelves, it dominates everything around it making 60” look tiny. This was the first time I got to see a 4K TV in person and the experience is not something I’ll forget.
There’s better way to explain the quality than by saying it was a simply stunning window into reality. My biggest surprise was the distance you can get to the display, even at a foot away from the display it looks amazing. If you ever get a chance to visit a store to get eyes-on with a UHD TV I can’t recommend it enough. Fair warning though, the experience will make you want to throw your current TV through the window.
Realistically the $15,778 price tag isn’t affordable by everyday Australian’s, but expect to see a few in well compensated football player living rooms. The good news is we’ve seen this story before. HDTV’s began with exorbitant prices but very quickly dropped into the realms of affordability.
Thanks to the advances in technology and competition, expect the $15K price tag to drop below $10K in 12 months, and below $5K in 2. This means enthusiasts should start extending their doorways to fit this puppy in their living rooms.
If you want to try a fun experiment, there’s also a 1080p 80” display in store, which graphically demonstrates the need for 4K. Scaling HD to that size yields very poor results, similar to watching SD content on a 55” TV. So after being completely sold on 4K, the question remains about the distribution system which currently doesn’t exist. Undoubtedly there’s scope for IP-based deliver and the proliferation of the NBN will ensure that path is a success. Currently content is loaded onto a media server box (see bottom right of image), while this is impressive enough for in-store demos or to blow the minds of your rich friends, it doesn’t solve the question of new content.
Of course recently we’ve had the confirmation that both the PS4 and Xbox One will support 4K video playback. That’s great news but neither have explained how this will be distributed given there is no optical 4K standard. If they are planning on relying on existing IP-deliver video stores, current internet speeds means you’ll be downloading for a day or two before watching. Also worth noting is that the Microsoft have confirmed Xbox One will play 4K games, great news, but again.. how? Maybe games will be delivered on SD cards.
If you are in any doubt about the next generation of video formats, let me reassure you, 4K aka UHD is phenomenal and appears as a bigger jump than SD to HD. While 4KTVs will come in 55” up, the immersiveness of an 84” display is unbeatable, I can’t wait to game on the thing.