4K everone has heard of it, everyone now thinks they need it, and all the best Video equipment is 4K ready, as well as the cables of course.
Ready for what? What is 4K or ultra high definition television (UHDTV) as it now called domestically or 2169p.
This is where the problems start -
Consumer 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 (at a 16:9, or 1.78:1 aspect ratio) differs from the industry standard of 4096 x 2160 (at a 1.9:1 aspect ratio).
and that is just the begining.
The two major problems are what do you store it on and how do you transport it from the storage device to the display device.
Currently Sony have resolved these problems by having a 4k media player (SSD) with 4k program material attached to the back of their 4K monitors and when you are sick of these programs or movies you return the SSD to Sony and they replace it with an other unit with more 4k material on it.
Not going to work in the long term.
At least Sony have developed appropiate scaling codecs to allow good upscaling of 2k or 1080p material upto 4k. A reason why they are more pricey that some of the 4k displays on the the market. Cheaper models can display 4k but will not have the superior upscaling capacity of the Sony displays.
Televisions capable of displaying 4K resolutions are seen by consumer electronics companies as the next trigger for an upgrade cycle due to a lack of consumer interest in 3D television.
A lot of films are now being shot on 4k -
The Digital Cinema Initiatives consortium established a standard resolution of 4096 pixels × 2160 lines (8.8 megapixels, aspect ratio ~17:9) for 4K film projection. This is the native resolution for DCI-compliant 4K digital projectors and monitors; pixels are cropped from the top or sides depending on the aspect ratio of the content being projected.
4K digital films may be produced, scanned, or stored in a number of other resolutions depending on what storage aspect ratio is used. In the digital film production chain, a resolution of 4096x3112 is often used for acquiring "open gate" or anamorphic input material, a resolution based on the historical resolution of scanned super 35mm film.
With the majority of movies being shot and mastered now on 4K and many video libraries being remastered into 4k and in cases films like Lawerence of Arabia was remastered into 8k and then reformatted into 4k. Any number of new TV series are now also being shot and mastered on 4K so unlike 3D there should be no shortage of program material.
4K Blu-ray was imminent, disc creator Singulus has revealed on its website that it is one company that is "provides the machine technology for three-layer Blu-ray Discs with a storage volume of about 100GB."
The machine in question is called the BLULINE III and confirms that we won't be looking at another format war when it comes to bringing 4K content to the home.
100GB is capacious enough to house a 4K movie, the only question that remains is whether current Blu-ray players will be able to play the discs, presumably with some sort of firmware update to read and playback the content.
Currently H.264/AVC format may well work with discs of this size, but it is more than likely that the H.265/HEVC codec will be used as some 4K televisions at the moment do house these decoders.
While the trickle of 4K televisions coming to the market at the moment are still very expensive, it's great to see the problem of getting 4K into homes being addressed.
Blu-ray won't be the only way to get content, however, with the Sony Video Unlimited 4K service and Netflix demoing 4K content, streaming will also be another way.
But, with bandwidths as they currently are, a physical disc may well be the easiest and best way to get 4K content delivered to your shiny new television.
Wikipedia and TechRadar are acknowledged as sources for some technical references in this blog