To those of us connected to the media and communications industry we are or should be aware of this. Asking that question to the main stream public (geeks and techies excluded) will give you a glazed look as an answer.

While most of us are still paying a premium of HD TV at home and some people still haven’t upgraded or see the benefits of HD (or even 3D), the future of the next format is rapidly approaching. 4k takes the picture resolution way beyond our current High Definition. 4K equipment such as TV’s and cameras are already available and programs are now being produced in this format. HD isn’t even the standard format for the domestic viewer yet, however people in the market for buying a new TV should be considering a device that is 4K ready.

What does this actually mean for us?
Currently a 1080p HD picture has a resolution of 1920x1080 (two million pixels)
The next level of Ultra High Definition, 4K, will have a resolution of 3840x2160 (eight million pixels) giving the viewer an incredibly detailed image.

With the possibility of so many devices in any given house hold, all with the potential to receive ‘live TV’, ‘on demand’ and many other data streaming applications, user bandwidth becomes an issue. Broadcasters are acutely aware of this and squeezing such a high quality imagery to us via our TV’s and broadband, without losing quality, is firmly on their agenda to overcome. Video compression is currently in development with the backing of major broadcasters and telecom companies.* The other challenge is to have a sufficient library of programs and movies in the 4K format, once this has built up we will then start to see ultra high definition moving into our lives and becoming more common place.

This is great for our viewing pleasure but whether it’s HD, 3D or 4K, we are encouraged to update our equipment and pay enhanced subscription premiums to keep up with future technology. This is obviously an excuse for manufactures and broadcasters to cash in on the next development but is this moving too fast for us or are you happy to pay extra to be part of the future?

Are you 4K ready?