The March to 4K TV: So What?

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The necessary environment needed for a robust 4K (aka 4K UHD – ultra-high definition) TV ecosystem is rapidly coming together. One important milestone has already passed; 4K TV is already gaining mind share amongst US consumers. According to Leichtman Research Group, 41% of US adults have actually heard of 4K TV. With 4K TVs now appearing on the market, prices are likely to follow the usual consumer electronics pattern, dropping rapidly. As consumers around the world shop for a new TV, for many the concern to not be left behind with obsolete technology will drive more and more to purchase 4K TVs. Not only are 4K TVs coming into the market, smartphones supporting 4K video are also in view. To support 4K TV, the industry is coalescing around the HEVC video codec standard (which can support up to 8K). On top of that, we also have OTT (over the top) services from companies such as Netflix and Amazon in the market streaming 4K content to consumers as this is written. This quick turnaround shows how much the TV and technology industries have progressed beyond when HDTV first appeared and it took around 20 years for the technology to be broadly accepted in the market.

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