This is a follow up to my last blog “Your wedding doesn’t deserve high end gear.”  If you have not read that I would highly recommend reading it because it will set the frame work for this blog.  The topic that frequently arises with my friends in the industry is 4K. What is 4K? I won’t go into the tech details because other people (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution) have already done it. Basically is 4 times the pixel count of your 1080p TV.

Generally, my peers believe that it is totally unnecessary.  They feel that it does not add the value of the product.  This is the format for our wedding films.  We deliver in 4K.  I find this argument interesting for a number reasons.  First, is that it is a lack of forward thinking.  Second,  it is not looking at the trends in the consumer market. Now if you are my film friends and you disagree with the last 2 statements feel free to post your comments below and I will mark them as spam 😉  If you are a consumer you should pay attention because this will affect you soon in your purchasing decisions for all your media types


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The first is the 4K is as a big a step up for 1080p as standard definition was to high definition. The images are sharper. The colors standard is wider. The list goes on. The biggest reason why 4K matters now is that is getting cheaper- about 5 times faster than the HDTV’s of the past.  I remember telling my mom when we first looked at a plasma TV that when they reach $1,000 to $1,500 we will buy one. That took 5 years. That TV I saw took 3 years to get to the shelf of a store.   It was 8 years before HDTV was affordable enough for the average consumer.  There are already 4K TV’s announced this year that cost around $1,000 dollars. Camera manufacturers are pushing 4K cameras.  This is the key.

Consumers from last generation HDTV’s complaint was “why would I by an HDTV when I can’t watch anything in HD?” Manufacturers this time around have listened and are providing means to capture and view 4K content simultaneously.  With digital set top players and people hooking up computers to TV’s becoming common place, the playback issue of the previous generation is mute.  The last piece of the puzzle is streaming.  Streaming video is exteremely important.  Netflix has already announced 4K streaming content and their archive is growing.  Developers are already able to stream and compress 4K video.

However, the crux of the discussion is: do we need 4K?  My personal opinion is yes, but that doesn’t matter.  What matters is that in 2 years 4K TV’s will dominate the store shelves and it will be the new buzz word for quality. The reason I think it matters is the same reason why 8MP cameras are not as good as 15MP cameras. (This is an extreme generality- I know all the acceptions to this rule.) The detail is better, but there is also a leap in the underlying technologies that make each pixel better.  If the biggest complaint from the production side is  my computer can’t handle it, or it takes up too much space, I say upgrade your computer and buy more hard drives.  Keep it simple and easy.