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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