4K or not 4K, that is the question


TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Peter Savage goes all literary to show how our industry draws on Shakespeare and Keyne.

4K or not 4K, that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of a much larger workflow
Or to take arms against a sea of other formats
And by opposing end them. 2K, to sleep
No more--and by a sleep to say we end
That format, and the thousands pounds
Of pounds we spent on it. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. 2K, to sleep—

No, I haven’t gone mad but I do feel like Hamlet at his most uncertain of mind, when he was considering life or death, because there could be yet another change in our ever-changing sea of formats.
I thought the world had settled on 2K. That this was the defacto format in camera drama. But then out comes the new, less expensive 4K F55 Sony camera amid rumours that Arri are either bringing out a new camera, dropping prices and/or enhancing and/or changing the Codex/Recorder on the back of their cameras. And don’t forget the advance of the Canon 4K cameras.
A dismal start and continuing struggle
By the time we have gone to press all should have been revealed – and we all should be at BVE, hoping that business has picked up both in the supply of kit and in the start of the drama and sports shooting season. It has, again, been a dismal January and the industry really needs a good kick-start at the end of February. Hire companies have been hit harder than ever this year; the Olympics brought an early end to the drama season; and companies have been counting the cost of huge investments last year and short cash flow this year.
So, what are we looking forward to this year? I was hoping to say further stability in the market after a golden era in the last two years in acquisition – enhanced by the tax breaks, coming in this April, that should ensure more drama is shot in the UK (as mentioned in last month’s article). It is, however, a nerve-wracking time for companies and financiers alike as we struggle through February in effect losing money. It is easy to say it happens every year but I feel that this year is almost back to 2008/9 when several large companies either went to the wall and/or had to seek assurances from their creditors.
This whole issue on formats, and the uncertainty it has brought to a jittery market, is the result of the push by consumer manufacturers to bring products to market. Widescreen, HD, 3D, 2K and now 4K have all been pushed ahead of their time and unashamedly by eager consumer manufacturers who need to sell more of something that is now so reliable, space saving and interior designed.
Showing his age
Remember those huge Trinitron televisions that would make interior designers hold their heads in their hands in despair when you asked where you could put them in your bijou lounge? Nowadays, televisions hang flat and look good; sound systems are almost invisible – no wires, no hi-fi attached to get the surround sound. Today’s gizmos are so good that manufacturers can only push their products by enhancing the quality of the picture watched and upping the resolution of transmission.
Warts and all
There is no doubt that 4K will come – but how soon? And do we really want to see every wart and wrinkle on every soap star’s face? In fact, natural history apart, I cannot think of anything worse than being able to see whether or not half the cast of Waterloo Road has acne.
So I am going to start a new campaign for dumbing down what I want to see on TV. I suffer enough queasy can’t-watch moments in Casualty in 1K, let alone if it were shot in 4K, and that’s not to mention close-up Anamorphic lenses (I might as well be inside the deep incision in the stomach that is shown regularly while I’m trying to eat my tea).
So what happens now that we have consumer giants pushing television products that the not so eager customer is being pushed towards and that they don’t actually need? I’ve given you some poetry; now for some maths: our consumptive function is:
C = A + B (Y – T)
Casualty = Anamorphics + more Blood as a function of (You watching less TV)

If you would like to know more about keeping formats stable and chasing endless upgrades do contact me at peter.savage@azule.co.uk and/or write to the TV Bay editor. And, yes, we have had both Shakespeare and Keynes in one article.

Tags: iss074 | shakespeare | keyne | 4k | format | debate | azule finance | [author]
Contributing Author

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Matrox Unveils Monarch EDGE 4K Contribution Encoder at IBC 2018

    Matrox Unveils Monarch EDGE 4K Contribution Encoder at IBC 2018

  • 12G 4K microMUSA Jackfield and Fibre Termination Solutions from Canford at IBC 2018

    12G 4K microMUSA Jackfield and Fibre Termination Solutions from Canford at IBC 2018

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera BMPCC 4K at IBC 2018

    Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera BMPCC 4K at IBC 2018

  • Apantac 4k UHD HDMI/DVI Multiviewer with KVM at IBC 2018

    Apantac 4k UHD HDMI/DVI Multiviewer with KVM at IBC 2018

  • JVC 4K Connected Camera GY-HC550 and 500 at IBC 2018

    JVC 4K Connected Camera GY-HC550 and 500 at IBC 2018

  • IMT Vislink HCAM 4k UHD transmitter at IBC 2018

    IMT Vislink HCAM 4k UHD transmitter at IBC 2018

  • Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K at NAB 2018

    Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K at NAB 2018

  • Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K at NAB 2018

    Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K at NAB 2018

  • 4K UHD Multi-viewer HDMI 2.0 from Apantac at NAB 2018

    4K UHD Multi-viewer HDMI 2.0 from Apantac at NAB 2018

  • Omnitek Updates for Ultra 4k Toolbox at NAB 2018

    Omnitek Updates for Ultra 4k Toolbox at NAB 2018

  • 4k and HEVC with Garland at BVE 2018

    4k and HEVC with Garland at BVE 2018

  • 6K Sony Venice and Sony 4k Palm Camcorders at IBC 2017

    6K Sony Venice and Sony 4k Palm Camcorders at IBC 2017

  • JVC 4K UHD Monitors at IBC 2017

    JVC 4K UHD Monitors at IBC 2017

  • The CFU5 4k Transmitter from Vislink at IBC 2017

    The CFU5 4k Transmitter from Vislink at IBC 2017

  • Wireless 4K Transmitter from DTC Domo Broadcast at IBC 2017

    Wireless 4K Transmitter from DTC Domo Broadcast at IBC 2017

  • AJA Thunderbolt 3 IO 4k Plus at IBC 2017

    AJA Thunderbolt 3 IO 4k Plus at IBC 2017

  • HDR, 12G, 4k, IP - the range expands from Phabrix at NAB 2017

    HDR, 12G, 4k, IP - the range expands from Phabrix at NAB 2017

  • Quad 4k Capture and Stream with Maevex from Matrox at NAB 2017

    Quad 4k Capture and Stream with Maevex from Matrox at NAB 2017

  • 4k 60 Matrix from GDSYS at NAB 2017

    4k 60 Matrix from GDSYS at NAB 2017

  • HEVC 4k Encoding from Aviwest at NAB 2017

    HEVC 4k Encoding from Aviwest at NAB 2017

  • Apantac 4k live demo at NAB 2016

    Apantac 4k live demo at NAB 2016

  • Omnitek Ultra 4K Tool Box at IBC 2015

    Omnitek Ultra 4K Tool Box at IBC 2015

  • Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

    Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

  • MULTIDYNE Silverback 4k at NAB 2015

    MULTIDYNE Silverback 4k at NAB 2015

  • Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Panasonic Lumix GH5 at BVE 2017

    Panasonic Lumix GH5 at BVE 2017

  • Garland at BVE 2017

    Garland at BVE 2017

  • Ikegami 8k camera at IBC 2016

    Ikegami 8k camera at IBC 2016

  • Ikegami HQLM-3120W monitor at IBC 2016

    Ikegami HQLM-3120W monitor at IBC 2016

  • Ikegami UHK-430 camera at IBC 2016

    Ikegami UHK-430 camera at IBC 2016

  • Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

    Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

  • Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

    Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

  • JVC GY-LS300 at IBC 2015

    JVC GY-LS300 at IBC 2015

  • AVIWEST at IBC 2015

    AVIWEST at IBC 2015

  • BBright at IBC 2015

    BBright at IBC 2015

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2015

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2015

  • Lynx Technik at IBC 2015

    Lynx Technik at IBC 2015

  • JVC at BVE 2015

    JVC at BVE 2015

  • Grass Valley at BVE 2015

    Grass Valley at BVE 2015

  • Gearhouse Broadcast at BVE 2015

    Gearhouse Broadcast at BVE 2015

  • KITPLUS rig setup at IBC 2014

    KITPLUS rig setup at IBC 2014

  • Tektronix at IBC 2014

    Tektronix at IBC 2014

  • Cooke Optics technology at IBC 2014

    Cooke Optics technology at IBC 2014

  • Cooke Optics talk anamorphic at IBC 2014

    Cooke Optics talk anamorphic at IBC 2014

  • JVC GY-LS300 prototype at IBC 2014

    JVC GY-LS300 prototype at IBC 2014

  • MultiDyne SilverBACK at IBC 2014

    MultiDyne SilverBACK at IBC 2014

  • BBright at IBC 2014

    BBright at IBC 2014

  • Hitachi at IBC 2014

    Hitachi at IBC 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck DP-HR range at IBC 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck DP-HR range at IBC 2014

  • Ateme at IBC 2014

    Ateme at IBC 2014

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

    Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

    Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

    Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

  • Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

    Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2014

  • Philip Bloom on Tour in Belfast

    Philip Bloom on Tour in Belfast

  • Cinegy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cinegy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Miranda on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Miranda on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • JVC GY-HM600 series camera updates at IBC 2013

    JVC GY-HM600 series camera updates at IBC 2013

  • ATEME at IBC 2013

    ATEME at IBC 2013

  • Multidyne SilverBack, BullDog and Spider at IBC 2013

    Multidyne SilverBack, BullDog and Spider at IBC 2013

  • Cinegy at IBC 2013

    Cinegy at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

  • MultiDyne: SilverBACK at NAB 2013

    MultiDyne: SilverBACK at NAB 2013

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

    Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

  • Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

    Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • AJA at BVE 2013

    AJA at BVE 2013

  • JVC at BVE 2012

    JVC at BVE 2012

  • Apantac T Sharp # Multi-Format Multiviewer at IBC 2017

    Apantac T Sharp # Multi-Format Multiviewer at IBC 2017

  • Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

    Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

    Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

  • PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

    PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

    Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

    Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

  • TMD talk workflow on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk workflow on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Local TV debate at BVE North 2012

    Local TV debate at BVE North 2012

  • Azule Finance at BVE 2016

    Azule Finance at BVE 2016

  • Azule Finance at BVE 2013

    Azule Finance at BVE 2013


Related Shows
  • Philip Bloom chats 4k: BVE Day 2

    Philip Bloom chats 4k: BVE Day 2


Articles
The Biggest Toy Shop in the World
Emma Morrison When Nigel Woodford started his career at BBC Wood Norton in 1962, television was black and white and BBC Two had not yet been launched. In 2018 Nigel will retire, and Richmond Film Services, the pro-audio equipment rental company set up by Nigel in 1973, can count numerous contributions to iconic moments in British cultural, sporting and film history over this time.
Tags: iss133 | richmond film services | audio rental | auction | liquidity | go-dove | Emma Morrison
Contributing Author Emma Morrison Click to read or download PDF
Live audio contribution over wireless networks
Pablo Rodrigues Altmann Wireless “live” contribution from anywhere at any time, this is the ultimate goal for most news reporters. The old favorite of using ISDN is becoming harder and much more expensive to access easily. Today most of us use wireless daily, in particular Wifi and HSPA/LTE 4G networks. These are now mature technologies and widely used for many applications in the home and whilst out and about. However there are still some professionals who prefer to persevere with the traditional, costly and limited ISDN communication technology before jumping into the wireless era.
Tags: iss133 | adrl | wireless audio | isdn | cellular audio | Pablo Rodrigues Altmann
Contributing Author Pablo Rodrigues Altmann Click to read or download PDF
Peli Air 1507 Review
Phil Vinter Originally named after a bird that carries its precious cargo through the skies, it was, perhaps, only a matter of time before Peli released its Air range.
Tags: iss133 | peli | peli air 1507 | trekpak | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read or download PDF
Fast-moving productions need multi-cam RF reliability
Darren Bilton Wireless acquisition creates a level of freedom not possible with any other form of filming yet only a decade ago the technique was barely possible. The technology enabling live real-time connections over radio frequencies has advanced leaps and bounds such that there is barely an entertainment, documentary, sports or news format today that doesn’t benefit from at least one link system. That means the demands on the kit continues to rise and includes the need for fail safe multi-camera operation, ease of use and backwards compatibility all within a small, lightweight and budget-friendly package.
Tags: iss133 | boxx tv | wireless | mpeg-4 | multicam | rf | multi-cam | Darren Bilton
Contributing Author Darren Bilton Click to read or download PDF
Trade shows and their role in the wired world
Richard Baker Historically trade shows afforded an opportunity to collect the latest brochures relevant to the visitor's chosen industry or career path. Today there seems little reason to store data of any kind, let alone paper brochures, when information is so easily accessible online. Brochure back-packing at exhibitions has become a rare sight, rarer still since the security clampdown on visitor luggage at exhibitions. Today's efficient show delegate need only carry a mobile phone and, in deference to tradition, a bundle of business cards. The phone doubles as a snapshot camera, video camera, dictaphone, email reader, internet browser, Skype communicator, and so on.
Tags: iss133 | finepoint | ibc | nab | kitplus show | bve | Richard Baker
Contributing Author Richard Baker Click to read or download PDF