So, what did we learn? We learnt that 29% of people within this market don't expect 4k to be their predominant working format until at least 2018 and possibly beyond. At the same time, 33% believe that the tipping point for 4k will be 2017. 16% are already working mainly in 4k while 6% never will.
What was perhaps most telling was that of the 29% that don't foresee 4k becoming standard until at least 2018, and possibly beyond, nearly half of them work in broadcast television.
This was interesting because, also at BVE, I stumbled across a Digital Production Partnership (DPP) seminar in which the chief executive, Mark Harrison, revealed that a DPP think-tank has predicted that 2017 will be the tipping point for UHD (but without HDR). It's not a huge difference but it does show that the foot soldiers of the industry - as that was what most of our survey sample (and indeed BVE) consisted of - differ slightly in their predictions from the generals.
Like all surveys, nothing is ever black and white of course. Of the 16% of people that are already working in 4k, 60% of those (or 12 out of 20 if you like) are in broadcast TV.
Another way to look at this is to examine the current predominant working format. It is no surprise that HD still rules. Of the 126 people in our survey, 86 are mainly working in HD (68%) while just 21 spend most of their time with 4k (17%). SD still has a place too, with 13% still working in 720 x 576.
So, that's the business side, what about the industry's attitude as consumers? Surely, we are all early adopters? We work with (or near) technology all the time: the desire to improve the viewing experience must translate into a yearning to own the best kit at home too? Maybe not. Perhaps we know more than the average man or woman on the street. We know that there isn't much 4k content available to watch right now and that there are lots of standards still to agree on. And we know that HDR, wider colour gamut, higher frame rates and immersive audio are more important.
As such, our survey suggests that we are going to be cautious adopters. 13% already have a 4k TV and a further 12% will buy one this calendar year. Next year another 21% will take the plunge. But 50% currently have no plans to
buy a 4k television and 3% don't even have a TV! Now, that tells you a lot.