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01-11-2013, 08:04 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
Netflix Demonstrate UHD 4k Streaming - Ultra High Definition, Next Generation Image Quality
It's most likely that your local or regular cinema screens films digitally now. In many cases, this is still being done at 2k, images that are 2048 pixels wide.
Though some chains, here in the UK at least, boast proudly that their projectors all pump out 4k, which is 4096 pixels wide. That's very true, but it's also the case that these 4k projectors are often being used to show 2k files.
It takes a pretty big screen for the step up from 2k to 4k to really make an impact. I won't get into all of the maths here but audience members in a fairly typical cinema wouldn't be able to discernany difference at all if they were to sit in the back two thirds of the auditorium.
Great for people near the front, though, right?
Let's assume you sit about seven feet away from your TV set at home. For 4k to make a measurable difference to your perception of the image, your TV would have to be around 140 inches, diagonally. That's about three metres wide.
So, I don't think 4k is by any means the urgent next step in video technology. On the other hand, I do know that it is most definitely coming, and fast.
Sony have this week said that they want to establish a standard format for 4k. The twist is that this time, unlike with Blu-ray and DVD, they don't mean a physical format, they mean a file format. In fact, Sony's CEO has this week said at the Consumer Electronics Show that a disc format might even be unlikely.
Streaming video is likely to be at the forefront of the 4k push, rather than packaged media or broadcast. No surprise, then, that Neflix are already working hard, getting ready to ride the 4k explosion.
Pocket Lint saw a 4k Netflix demonstration at CES. It was a pretty modest demo, tucked away quietly, but it was definitely 4k content, and it was being streamed, someway or another.
Samsung are partnering with Netflix on the development of this tech, which will likely mean Netflix 4k apps on the dashboard of Samsung 4k sets.
It's early days yet, but these things do have a way of accelerating. How long until I stop cluttering my house up with piles of Blu-rays and start hanging off the wires for 4k streams, I wonder?
I'll miss packaged media, but I've already welcomed Netflix with open arms. And a nice big 4k TV? Don't mind if I do. But I do mean big. I'm not going 4k unless it's going to really mean something.
If you're going to join me in this grand indulgence, you'll need a pretty robust connection to the web to get your content. This is from Pocket Lint's piece:The new codec of H.265 is claimed to allow for further file size compression of 40-50 per cent more than H.264 video, with no loss in picture quality. It can ensure UHD images are streamed efficiently using existing bandwidth, but streaming 5.1 or 7.1 audio will still take up as much bandwidth as before. So file sizes will naturally be larger, with all things considered.My current connection allows me to stream 1080p Netflix in two rooms simultaneously, even while I'm surfing the web, so I think I'm most likely set already.
Right, let's try and put a number on it, just for fun. I predict that I'll have a 4k set at home and will be watching 4k streaming video on it in... ermmm... let's say 2017.
I'll keep you posted.
01-12-2013, 01:53 AM #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
Is this anything to do with The UHD TV format? I know the BBC began developing this for future broadcast possibilities... Before they launched BBC HD."Be nostalgic for now."
Co-creator of the Ogle Award-winning SF-Fantasy audio series, The Springheel Saga.
01-12-2013, 02:18 AM #3
40-50% lossless compression is interesting from a technical perspective as it will depend what encoding they start from.
However, I think the screen size issue may go away - hoping to popularise a service that's only noticeably beneficial on screens that are still only theoretically possible is a bit silly (as far as I know the biggest TV released so far is LG's 84 offering from last year, although I suppose with the right media centre, an eyefinity type multidisplay setup and two bezel-free displays you could do it...)
IMO what's more likely to happen is that pixel counts on normal displays will go up so we'll start to see 26-50" 4K-capable TVs on the market soon. This is already happening with smartphones and Apple's new RetinaDisplay kit.
01-12-2013, 03:30 AM #4
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
Streaming only, eh? I hope everyone has an unlimited data plan with their Internet provider. With just a high def file, I can only watch a couple of hours of material on my cell phone's 2GB plan. If we're dealing with files twice as big, that turns into an hour of UHD for 2GB.
That's the dirty little secret you rarely see mentioned with the future of entertainment. You're going to pay a fee to the studio; a fee to the distributor and then pay through the nose to your Internet provider. Your high monthly cable bill and $30 for a bluray will be "the good ole days".
01-12-2013, 04:12 AM #5
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
01-12-2013, 05:38 AM #6
It will be interesting to see how it goes in the US - I wouldn't bet on US ISPs suddenly coming to their senses when US mobile telephony providers still charge customers for receiving text messages...
01-12-2013, 09:49 AM #7
B) Why on earth would you want to sit around watching such content from your phone anyway??? Although I have the Netflix app on my phone, I rarely use it,unless I'm on the train for a while, & I'm bored.
Thats what the big TV & surround sound set up, and/or media center PC set up I own is for.
01-12-2013, 11:22 AM #8
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
- Phoenix, AZ
01-12-2013, 11:26 AM #9
So, the same laughingly limited selection of movies and shows - just in higher quality!
01-12-2013, 01:16 PM #10
however, the major issue with Netflix for me, besides limited selection, is surround sound formats. The best they can do is 5.1, & even that's not all the time. And even when it is, my AVR simply converts the signal to PCM. There's no Dolby, no DTS, etc. That's why Blu-Rays won't be going out of style any time soon.