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Rather than a huge plethora of 3D TVs, this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas saw the launch of super high resolution TV models, typical of which were new 4K models.
The term 4K relates to the number of picture element (pixel) rows, current high resolution TVs have 1080 rows, whereas these new 4K models have 4000 rows.
Currently it’s a chicken and egg situation. As most videos and films being produced are being filmed in the existing high definition format, having a piece of hardware that can display 4 times higher resolution is not of an immediate benefit. As with all higher resolution pictures that have ever been produced, the screen size is the critical factor. A 12” portable TV image looks to be fantastic quality, even if it’s only displaying a 500 or 600 line resolution image, however the same image resolution on a 60” projected screen looks dreadful.
There is absolutely no doubt that with the launch of larger and larger TV models for use in the home, there is a need for higher resolution images, if you’re sitting 10’ from an 100” screen then you’re likely to be able to see the individual picture elements (Pixels).
Currently, there is no broadcast or recorded programming available at the new 4K resolution, hence new TV models would need to up-scale existing high definition broadcasted programming. The first product to be launched using this 4K resolution technology is the Sony VPL-VW1000ES projector.
The Sony VLP-VW100ES 4K projector is able to upscale video source material, including resolutions as low as 720p. At CES, Sony used Blu-ray videos up-scaled to 4K and it was impossible to see any problems with their up-scaling process. Sony has stated that the only problem that they have seen is that their up-scaling processor shows the limitations and flaws of 720p resolution, especially the digital compression used in satellite TV signals.
While the demonstration of the 4K resolution products clearly indicated the developments currently being focussed on by the manufacturers, this was even more emphasised by Sharp Corporation demonstrating its 8K resolution.
As it now appears that most hardware manufacturers are now focussing their development resources on higher and higher resolutions rather than 3D or immersive image reproduction, could this be the end of another false dawn for 3D TVs?
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