4K UHD Resolution Needs to Focus on More than Pixel Count

by on June 25, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – June 25th, 2014

4K ultra-high definition may be an excellent innovation in home entertainment, and it definitely is impressive to behold when seen in action on a large TV with high end image rendering technology built into it. However, the number of pixels itself isn’t enough, and 4K makers can really work to impress the professionals if they also add in one more crucial feature that’s still strangely lacking in many 4K formats currently available.

This feature would be called HDR, or High Dynamic Range imaging and it’s something that should definitely impress even the professionals in cinematography. What makes HDR so appealing is the much higher color palette it would introduce to Ultra HD 4K home TV screens.

By creating a much more vibrant color display than even that which is already found in 4K TV screens from major brands like Sony, Samsung and LG, HDR could create a viewing experience that makes all sorts of 4K content and especially commercial content far richer in terms of viewing experience.

The current problem, however is that there is no HDR specification on the market. Most shows and movies are actually downgraded so that they can fit in with existing broadcast display specs and this in turn reduces the viewing experience from what it could potentially could be, especially for cinematic films that were recorded for maximum color vibrancy.

There are a number of companies now competing to be the first to introduce an industry standard HDR specification in 4K TV, Dolby, for example, has been putting Dolby Vision out on the market. Their color imaging system is designed to create 40 times more color vibrancy and brightness than a conventional TV display.

On the other hand Technicolor has also been making attempts at getting its own version of the HDR standard encoded into the new HEVC codec that’s expected to make widespread 4K broadcast transmission possible over existing TV broadcast channels.

The bottom line in terms of 4K color is that, while 8 million pixels creates an excellent viewing experience in terms of sharpness of resolution, contrast and color as they were originally filmed in a piece of film content are also important. These are factors that nobody who really wants to see their consumers happy should forget about.

The idea that HDR might soon become a widespread reality of either 4K content transmission or 4K UHD TV construction itself is making content creators feel a lot of excitement and the manufacturers who dominate the 4K display market are playing into this excitement.

Sony has already developed and implemented something called Triluminous Display technology into their 4K TVs, which is a large step in the direction of full HDR imaging standards, and Samsung is also playing with the same qualities by experimentally unveiling high contrast TVs that were capable of generating 1000 nits of brightness.

As many in Hollywood and also the Display technology industry think, incredible augmentations in how much color and contrast TVs or 4K displays of any kind deliver might just be something that really persuades more consumers to start changing their conventional HD TVs over to 4K models.

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