Tech Talk Tuesday: 4K Resolution replacing HD... Already???

Updated: Tuesday, September 17 2013, 12:01 PM MDT
Tech Talk Tuesday: 4K Resolution replacing HD... Already??? story image

By Lonnie Valencia

HD is dead! Just kidding ( but not really!)  Believe it or not, that new television you got a couple of years ago is ready to be put down “Old Yeller” style, if you know what I mean.  In today’s tech talk, I’m diving into the new world of 4K televisions.  Are they worth it?  What’s the difference?  Why now? I answer all of these questions and more, so let's stop lingering around like “standard definition” and move on already!



Before we can move forward we have to take a step back and look where we've been.  In the before times, in the long long ago, we all enjoyed our TV’s in what was called standard definition (SD, 480i).  The Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) said, "Let there be one standard!  And it was good."  Then, in 2009, free over-the-air television stations switched from analog transmissions to digital and this was good.  A Digital signal made it possible for new advancements in television to be broadcast and this too was good, making way for high definition (HD) to be born.  Then the National Association of Broadcasters steps in and, what they did next, was not good (well, at least in my opinion!) Because the NAB was not able to decide on just one standard for HD, they decided to open it up to a multitude of different settings.  720i, 720p,1080i,1080p, 1440X1080 are all part of the HD family.  They all come in different speeds too like, 24fps (frames per second), 29.94fps, 50fps, 60fps, with or without drop frame.  Confused yet?  I work with all of them and it makes my head spin, especially when someone tells me they have HD video and can’t tell me which settings they used.  Ahhh!  Sorry I digress!  

Moving on, you at home have these televisions that can figure out all of these cool HD settings and display them with ease.  In a flash you are watching movies, TV shows, and internet videos on your big screen in the best possible combination of HD clarity your peepers have ever seen.  Now it’s time to blind you with the next best thing... 4K.  



4K (Ultra HD) does not refer to the amount of money you will be spending on these next generation televisions, it refers to the resolution.  The highest resolution in the HD family is 1080p (1920x1080).  4K is four times that resolution, it comes in at (4096x2160).  This resolution allows you to do two things:  1. Cram more detail into the picture adding clarity and contrast. 2. Break the 65inch screen barrier.  You could easily go up to 84inchs and see no pixel separation, making 4k bigger, badder, and better then anything that has come before it.  Samsung, Sharp, LG, Toshiba and Sony are some of the companies that have televisions out on the market right now.  Be ready to dish out some money as even the lowest model (55” Sony) is priced at $3,500.00.

So, why now?  Why is 4K coming out when television stations (like us) are barely HD?  Why the push?  Two words... Video Games!  The next generation of consoles (PS4, Xbox One) are coming out later this year.  Both consoles are coming with support of 4K graphics.  Side note, the last console war had video gamers deciding media adoption between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.  This time it’s to see how well received 4K is going to be.  Believe it or not, video gamers are on the cutting edge of when it comes to home electronics.  Sony is pulling out all the stops.  Not only are they producing the Playstation 4 and a whole line of 4K televisions, they are also starting a new 4K digital movie service.  The FMP-X1 ($700) is the only device streaming 4K video.  If you’re into watching Breaking Bad, for example, having a new 4K TV, Sony’s FMP-X1, and HDMI firmware upgrade to 2.0 will allow you to see it in 4K glory.  I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot of work!



4k is in its infancy, and it will take a year or two to really see if this new product is going to make it.  There are a lot of people still using SD televisions.  HD is a whole new world to them, and making the jump to 4K is totally out of the question.  Early 4K television adopters are going to find it hard to find programing shot, edited, and streaming 4K.  Everything on the market for the exception of the FMP-X1 is sub standard to the resolution.  Sure the salesman will tell you that watching your blu-ray player will look amazing but you are truly never going to see what your new TV can do until the rest of the devices catch up.

My advice to those of you that have the money to spend on updating to the latest and greatest….WAIT!  I know the urge to buy now is great, but you won't have to wait long.  I’m saying wait six months.  The current 4K televisions on the market came out well before the necessary HDMI 2.0 firmware upgrade.  This firmware is vital to receive a 4K signal.  Without it you’re stuck in an HD world upscaling.  Yuck!  Plus, let's see what happens with the video game consoles and their offerings.  There are a lot of cool things they can do with this new HDMI upgrade - 4K, 3D full-dual screen, and 32 channel audio.  Video games are now becoming bigger then blockbuster movies in Hollywood.  Make sure the 4K television you’re buying comes with or can upgrade to HDMI 2.0.  Budget in as well for Sony’s FMP-X1/PS4/Xbox One, and call us to check out your set up!  We’ll bring the popcorn. After you have all that, you should be set... well until 8K comes out which is in the works as you read this article.  



That does it for this episode of Tech Talk Tuesday.  As always we would love your feedback/suggestions for this or our next edition, so feel free to send your comments to our resident Tech Guy Lonnie Valencia.

Tech Talk Tuesday: 4K Resolution replacing HD... Already???
comments powered by Disqus

More El Paso Entertainment


Robin Williams' wife, children head to court over estate battle
SAN FRANCISCO >> Attorneys for Robin Williams' wife and children are headed to court in their battle over the late comedian's estate.
Ariana Grande coming to El Paso, tickets go on sale Saturday
One of pop music's biggest superstars Ariana Grande has confirmed she is coming to El Paso, Live Nation officials announced this morning.
Trevor Noah set to replace Jon Stewart on 'Daily Show'
NEW YORK >> Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa who has contributed to "The Daily Show" a handful of times during the past year, will become Jon Stewart's replacement as host, Comedy Central announced Monday.
More than 138,000 attend free Juan Gabriel concert
More than 138,000 people attended Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel's free concert in Juárez on Saturday night, officials said Sunday.
DreamWorks' 'Home' bests 'Get Hard' at box office with $54M
NEW YORK (AP) — Business was brisk at the weekend box-office, where the DreamWorks animated alien adventure "Home" beat out the Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy "Get Hard" with a resounding debut
Pop music star, Ariana Grande, coming to El Paso
The young singing sensation is expected to take the stage Oct. 15 at the El Paso County Coliseum, officials confirmed today.
Tiempo calendar: KidsPalooza, Frijole Ranch Hike, César Chávez Day at Lincoln Park

Angel Salazar: The "Scarface" actor and stand-up comic will headline at 8:30 and 10:45 p.m. March 27-28 at El Paso Comic Strip Comedy Club, 1201 Airway. Showtimes: $12. 779-5233; laff2nite.com.

Elmo and the fuzzy bunch set to bust a move during Sesame Street Live: "Let's Dance!" at Abraham Chavez Theatre
Elmo knows how to dance. So do all his fuzzy friends from Sesame Street, and they are inviting El Paso fans to join them in busting a move at Sesame Street Live: "Let's Dance!," which takes over the Abraham Chavez Theatre on Thursday through April 5.
Dining out: Places to eat in El Paso
A list of borderland eats and treats.
Dave Acosta: How FOMO bested me at South by Southwest
Fear-of-missing-out, or FOMO. FOMO is "a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent," according to Wikipedia. FOMO got the best of me at South by Southwest in Austin last week. But, it was only because my first full day at the festival was spent at Fader Fort, one of the festival's most popular events, known for having great surprise acts.

Replay Twitter updates ›› El Paso 2015 SXSW Unofficial Showcase and more

'Downton Abbey' to end after its upcoming 6th season
NEW YORK (AP) — A grand manor will close its doors to millions of weekly guests after "Downton Abbey" concludes next year.
Movie capsules: "Get Hard," "It Follows," "Home"

Compiled from El Paso Times staff and wire reports. Listings are subject to change.

Restaurant review: 5 Points Bistro serves fresh, friendly lunch in the heart of Central El Paso
By this point in the Lenten season, the usual fish and chips or lentil soup can start to get a little bland. So on Friday's weekly lunch date with my mom and family friend Mary Beth, we set out to find something a little different to satisfy both my mom's religious dietary needs and our taste buds.
Coming up: Neon Desert Music Festival, Romeo Santos, Slayer
USBC Open Championships: The national bowling competition will take place through July 12 at the El Paso Convention Center, Downtown.
Ken Burns unravels the mysteries of cancer in PBS film
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — There's a mystery to cancer, in large part because of fear, that PBS tries to unravel in next week's six-hour documentary "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies."

Come back often for updates of TV listings and El Paso area and Las Cruces entertainment stories. KFOX14 covers entertainment, programming and other entertainment related subjects. KFOX14 is dedicated to providing the best, timely and up to date entertainment news for El Paso and Las Cruces.

KFOX14 El Paso - Live Cast Watch live broadcasts of KFOX14 News seven days a week!
KFOX14 El Paso - Live Cast Like KFOX Scoop on Facebook!
advertisement
advertisement