While 4K TV’s might be grabbing all the big headlines at the mo, the technology itself has actually been around for a quite a while. The issue previously was that in order to be able to afford a decent one you needed to be either a: a film director with a private cinema, or b: a: a Euromilllions lottery winner.
It was also a question of content availability. When Alexander Graham Bell first invented the telephone he had a big problem, there was only two in the world and as great as the technology was, he had no-one to call.
Similarly with 4K, only a small portion of films and TV series were investing in 4k technology. Without the 4K content the TV’s spent most of its time up-scaling programs made in 720 and 1080HD resolution, which was all fine and good, but hardly a reason to trade in your current HDTV you thought was amazing 5 years ago.
It was also very much dependent on the quality of the up-scaler, generally the more expensive the TV, the better, which takes us nicely back to our film director and lottery winner. However, as Bob Dylan once said ‘The times they are a changing’ and one particular brand who seem to be leading the way in 4K technology is Panasonic.
Panasonic 4K TV’s do an excellent job of up-scaling non HD content and also feature ‘My Home Screen 2.0’, the new and improved TV interface powered by Firefox OS. In addition to it being a clean and user-friendly system (built in html5) it’s also a definite step forward that blurs even more the lines between traditionally broadcasted shows and web based content.
What’s more now Netflix and other online subscription services are offering an ever-expanding range of 4K titles it seems the Film and TV industry is gripping the technology firmly with both hands. The recent European Football Championship were all filmed in 4K and my inbox is currently bulging with announcements of new restorations of old movies, such as Highlander 4K (read the review here) and a 40th Anniversary 4K release of David Bowie’s, “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (above), something that can only look even better in UHD.
So with prices starting as low as £500 for a 40″ Smart 4K Ultra HD, just like Alaxander’s telephone, the future (and past) of TV is looking very good indeed.