|By Shelly Palmer||
|November 30, 2016 09:43 AM EST|
Ultra HD (aka 4K) televisions have been widely available (at reasonable prices) for only a couple of years. The sets have four times the pixels of good old-fashioned HDTVs (aka 2K) and come in practical sizes up to 7′ diagonal. That’s all great, but with the advent of 4K HDR (high dynamic range), about 10 million first-generation 4K sets may experience an extinction-level event.
Like its Ultra HD predecessor, 4K HDR (aka Ultra HD Premium) has 3840×2160 pixels. But collectively packaged under the HDR specification, 4K HDR sets feature several enhancements for your viewing pleasure, including whiter whites, blacker blacks, and a zillion more colors (that’s a technical term).
What Exactly Is 4K HDR?
It took the industry a while to reach consensus. In 2014, the Ultra HD Alliance (UHD-A) was formed to establish voluntary minimum 4K performance criteria. There were lively discussions about exactly what the “H” in HDR stood for, what the “W” in WCG (wide color gamut) stood for – that’s the “zillion more colors” I referenced above – and how to set the minimum requirements for a 4K HDR set to sport the “Ultra HD Premium” logo.
Are There Really Two Competing HDR Standards?
Of course there are two competing HDR standards. In one corner, there’s Dolby Vision (which is a proprietary standard that requires both hardware and software implementation). In the other corner, there’s HDR10 (an open standard, easier to update and more widely used); nearly every manufacturer (except Vizio) supports HDR10.
Remember the Extinction-Level Event I Alluded To?
Unfortunately, first-generation 4K sets don’t support HDR10, which means there are about 10 million 4K TVs that will become somewhat obsolete when everyone is streaming HDR10 content. Not surprisingly, Amazon is an early adopter of HDR10.
Do I Really Need a 4K HDR Ultra HD Premium TV?
It doesn’t matter if you think you need a 4K HDR set or not. Soon, you won’t have a choice; it’s all anyone is going to manufacture. Until then, here are some general rules to buy by.
If you are purchasing a flat screen, less than 60″ diagonal, you can get a high-quality 2K (regular old HDTV) set and be very, very happy.
The main reason to have lots of pixels is to increase resolution for bigger screens. Once your screen gets over 65″, you will really see a difference between 2K and 4K. If affordable, 4K HDR is the way to go.
Would I choose a 2K HDR monitor (Yes, there’s 2K HDR, and it looks amazing!) over a regular 4K monitor? Under 60″, absolutely! At 75″, I would struggle with the decision but probably still opt for 2K HDR over regular 4K. 2K sets over 75″ (if you can even find one) is a bad idea – you will see the pixels at normal viewing distances.
Slightly More Content
4K and HDR content is still pretty hard to come by. That said, there’s more to watch today than there was yesterday, and there will be even more 4K content to watch tomorrow.
Microsoft’s Xbox One S and Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro support 2K HDR gaming on select titles. Microsoft is expected to release a 4K Xbox next fall. Nintendo hasn’t announced whether or not the Switch, launching in March ’17, will support 4K. But YouTube supports 4K video, and it rolled out HDR video in November ’16.
Still a Long Way to Go
While Netflix and some cable companies offer 4K and HDR content, you may not have enough bandwidth available. To stream Netflix content in 4K, you’ll need a minimum of 15 Mbps; for shows and movies in HDR, you’ll need even more bandwidth (closer to 20 Mbps). Even with the best compression, 4K files are still twice as large as HD files, so bandwidth may become an issue.
Sadly, Comcast’s existing X1 boxes don’t support HDR, and curiously, the Xi5 boxes support HDR but not UHD (and even that’s just in a small test group). TiVo’s Bolt and Series 6 DVRs have the right hardware, but not the necessary firmware to support HDR; TiVo is still evaluating the two competing HDR formats.
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray … Really?
There’s no way to get around this: in the world of 4K, the best picture quality is on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. These discs (with far more capacity than standard Blu-ray discs) include metadata that tells your TV how to properly interpret color and brightness. I’m not advocating for the format, but this is a great cocktail party factoid.
They’re Selling Like Hotcakes
According to the CTA™, 2016 was a flagship year for 4K TVs, thanks in large part to the rollout of HDR. 4K shipments were estimated at 15 million units (+105% YoY) with a revenue exceeding $12.9 billion (+69% YoY). Most industry experts believe this trend will continue.
A new report from Strategy Analytics’ Intelligent Home Group says around 250 million TV viewers will be able to watch shows in HDR by 2020, when the annual worldwide sales of HDR-enabled TVs will reach 58 million units, bringing the number of homes with at least one HDR-enabled TV to 107 million.
We’ll thoroughly cover 4K HDR TV on our CES® 2017 ShellyPalmer Tech Briefings and Floor Tours, and in our upcoming 2017 CE Trend Report. See you in Las Vegas in January.
Get deep visibility into the performance of your databases and expert advice for performance optimization and tuning. You can't get application performance without database performance. Give everyone on the team a comprehensive view of how every aspect of the system affects performance across SQL database operations, host server and OS, virtualization resources and storage I/O. Quickly find bottlenecks and troubleshoot complex problems.
Dec. 5, 2016 07:15 PM EST Reads: 2,045
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Dec. 5, 2016 07:15 PM EST Reads: 5,025
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Dec. 5, 2016 07:15 PM EST Reads: 342
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the cloud ...
Dec. 5, 2016 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,799
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Dec. 5, 2016 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,832
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
Dec. 5, 2016 06:15 PM EST Reads: 1,545
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 5, 2016 05:45 PM EST Reads: 1,586
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
Dec. 5, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,682
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 5, 2016 04:30 PM EST Reads: 2,048
Regulatory requirements exist to promote the controlled sharing of information, while protecting the privacy and/or security of the information. Regulations for each type of information have their own set of rules, policies, and guidelines. Cloud Service Providers (CSP) are faced with increasing demand for services at decreasing prices. Demonstrating and maintaining compliance with regulations is a nontrivial task and doing so against numerous sets of regulatory requirements can be daunting task...
Dec. 5, 2016 04:30 PM EST Reads: 870
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Dec. 5, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 856
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
Dec. 5, 2016 04:00 PM EST Reads: 2,550
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 5, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 4,243
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Dec. 5, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 331
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 5, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 3,278