Monday, July 01, 2013

Get Ready For More TV Set Choices

It is hard to tell which new technologies will take off and which will be digital flashes in the pan.  The new TV set offerings make things even more confusing. Now that most of us have replaced our analog TV sets or at least relegated them to the guest bedroom or basement, there are some new offerings now available that might make that new 46” Sony Bravia flat screen seem like that old 27” Sylvania now gathering dust in the garage. 

No too long ago the buzz word was 3-D.  TV manufactures and program producers saw the renewed interest in 3-D content at the cinema and decided that the home viewer would also be interested in watching 3-D programs.  A few 3-D channels were provided by cable companies and most all set makers offered a variety of new 3-D TVs.  Some required expensive eye glasses and others used simpler displays.  The common denominator was that the public really wasn’t interested.  Recently the 3-D channels have been disappearing from the cable line up and it looks like for now 3-D in the home is on life support.

Not to worry if you are one of those consumers who must get the latest new technology before the guy next door.  There are several TV set manufacturers who are developing new sets capable of much high resolution than mere High Definition as we know it today.

Dubbed Ultra High Definition, they come in several “flavors.”   Ultra HD 2K, 4K and 8K and they all can provide breathtaking clarity and detail. For example, a 4K UHD set has trice the horizontal and vertical resolution than the 1080 set that is now in your living room and has four times the number of pixels

You may wish to wait to plunk down your cash for one of these new sets since there are several different competing production formats.  It is setting up a rematch the Beta vs. VHS fight.   Also you will not have anything to watch since no broadcaster, cable or satellite service is moving to provide an Ultra HD service.  No DVD currently has UDH material either. The UHD material is a ravenous consumer of bandwidth and will require major expensive changes in the production and distribution chain from the camera to the display and most everything in between. 

So if you absolutely need to be the first one on your block to have an Ultra HD go for it.  If the screen is very large, i.e. 60’ plus, you may see a modest improvement in clarity but most people will be hard pressed to see the difference.  Perhaps someone will just sell a label with a fake Ultra HD Logo that you can put on tour standard set.  Remember the fake cell phone antennas that were sold for placement on the rear window of your car  when mobile phones were a status symbol?

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