TV-BAY Magazine

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something like 55 hours for a 100GB movie. Titanic 4K would take longer! We won’t even mention higher frame rate (HFR). So for me getting the disc through the post would be quicker. However my son says his new Internet that came with his HD cable TV service, again from Virgin Media, runs at least at 80 Mbits/s. So his 4K movie could download in about real time. Whichever way you look at it 4K is big. Often at trade shows someone from a post house darkly whispers something like, “There’s an awful lot of data we have to handle now with 4K.” I’m sure they are right, and it is easy to forget how fast the gigabytes add up to terabytes... and then petabytes. These are nice clean nouns and it is easy to forget that they describe massive numbers. Despite the incredible onward march of hard-disc development, it seems the entertainment industry’s hunger for storage is outpacing it. In the short term, at least, the extra demand for storage will increase costs. But all is not gloom. It seems that one of the biggest barriers to the public’s appreciation of 4K has been, to a great extent, swept away. The Chinese have entered the 4K screen market with very aggressive pricing so, in the USA at least, you can buy a 50-inch screen made by TCL for $999 + tax! While the big established manufacturers seem to start at a high price and then gently lower it, the Chinese seem to miss that first step out and go straight in with a very much more affordable offering. So the cat is among the pigeons and it will be interesting to see what happens in the European market. Post IBC 2014, it looks as if 4K TV will be widely accessible via satellite. New optical discs and high-speed internet (for those living in the middle of big cities) will offer a delivery service for the movies that are expected to provide much of the early content... as well as some sport. And if those low priced Chinese screens become available in Europe, uptake could be brisk. TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 84 DECEMBER 2013 | 49