4K has been hyped as the next big thing in video, but unless you are an A/V geek, it is all too easy to get confused about what it means. Yoel Zanger, CEO and Founder of Giraffic gives you the insight you need to understand 4K.
Q Where are viewers or consumers of media most enjoying the 4K experience?
A The 4K TV sets are the only screens available today for consumers to watch 4K. These 4K TVs are still scarce but prices of these TVs are continuously dropping and adoption is growing.
Q What do you see as the pros and cons of 4K technology?
-Viewing experience and image reality like never before – it’s almost like looking out your window.
- Up scaling technology available which makes regular HD 1080p content look even better
- A driver of the consumer electronics industry and economy: many new technologies and vendors. (e.g. processors, Codecs, Adaptive Video Acceleration, Imaging technologies like HDR, hi color gamut, etc).
- A driver of the Internet growth and its democracy.
- Very high electricity consumption, not very environmental
- Higher production costs, data storage, CDN costs.
- Limited availability of 4K content.
- Very limited ability to provide true 4K experiences over the Internet due to current technology gaps.
- Overloading the already highly congested Internet.
Q How soon should we expect a movement towards 6K, 8K, and so on?
A 8K is already in the works and has been announced by companies such as Sony. However, I anticipate that marketing the bit count as the primary consumer value and calling beyond 8K is going to stop around 8K - Similar to the "megapixel" counting hype in digital photography, while other UHD imaging qualities will be developing much more: HDR, Higher color gamut, etc.
Q Where do you see the future of 4K headed?
A As stated above: HDR, higher frame rates, color gamut, and audio surround effects.
Q What questions should consumers ask themselves when wanting to purchase a 4K product?
A - Perhaps wait a year or two till prices drop.
- Is the content I like watching available in 4K ? or is it going to be available in my region any time soon?
- Does my broadband connection and ISP internet Quality-of-Service enable 4K? (At least 30Mbps, consistently).
- On the flip side: Do I want to risk buying a 4k TV now and being stuck in the future? Perhaps in 2 years, when 4K does become the standard? (Similarly to being stuck with an "HD ready"/720p TV today)
Q Anything else you would like to share?
A 4K has been hyped as the next big thing in video, but unless you are an A/V geek, it is all too easy to get confused about what it means. Of course, everyone is already talking about 8K, but that’s just marketing – people like counting the pixels (like in digital cameras, previous displays, storage, etc).
Size can matter, and more pixels are better, all things being equal. However, just like the above examples, it is not the only factor to consider when it comes to a quality experience.
We believe that these are some of the specs you should keep an eye on that will take us closer to that experience:
1. HDR (High Dynamic Range) – Techniques to reproduce a greater range of luminosity, or brightness, by capturing multiple images of different exposure levels and combining them, thus gaining back some of the loss of detail in bright or dark areas of the image.
2. Higher Frame Rates – This is the frequency that frames change. Higher frame rates are important for fast moving motion pictures – e.g. sports, action
3. Higher Color Gamut – This is the range of colors that are represented.
4. Wider Bit Depth – Bit depth is the same as color depth; the number of bits used to represent a color of a pixel.
We recommend getting past the fixation on resolution and pixel counting, and paying more attention to the above specs and especially HDR, which we believe is the next big thing.
Q Want to learn more about Yoel Zanger?
A Yoel Zanger is the founder and CEO of Giraffic Technologies (www.giraffic.com), an innovative video streaming technology company specializing in next generation video acceleration. He is a seasoned high-tech entrepreneur and executive with over 15 years of experience and has founded several innovative companies that have brought breakthrough technologies to the media, Internet and mobile arenas. Mr. Zanger is an expert in businesses and technologies that enable the delivery and monetization of high definition and mobile video, which account for a growing volume of Internet video consumption today. He is an accomplished speaker who has presented at numerous conferences and events, such as IPTV World Forum, Streaming Media, Digital Life Design, Contech and Digital Hollywood.
Mr. Zanger believes that the Internet will eventually give users infinite access to content, without boundaries of geography or popularity, and that the challenge facing the industry is to develop and tap business models and technology that make it possible and profitable to deliver any content, to any user, anywhere.