According to Amazon, TV Manufacturers want 4K Much More than Consumers
by Stephan Jukic – September 11th, 2014
This is the view of Amazon Vice President Peter Larsen, who claims that 4K support is definitely on the way and that the company is looking at the entire picture from a roadmap perspective.
Now, while Amazon has certainly invested very heavily in supporting 4K display technology, and is looking at bringing support for Ultra HD to its own services, the Amazon VP doesn’t believe that the consumer appetite for 4K is fully developed quite yet.
According to him, “I kind of view it as a timing issue”. “We will be there when a lot of customers want 4K”.
For now, according to Larsen, “I’d argue it’s still the manufacturers wanting customers to buy 4K rather than the other way around. Just because there’s not a lot of 4K content available yet”.
Interestingly enough, given this position by the company’s VP, it’s Amazon itself who is one of the biggest players on the market right now in terms of 4K content creation.
Along with Netflix and a small few others, Amazon’s studio arm, Prime, is releasing 4K streams of all of its shows from 2014 and beyond to households and TVs capable of accepting the HEVC encoded, data heavy format.
In fact, along with Netflix, Amazon is the only company that’s currently also actually filming all of its TV show content in native 4K for the explicit purpose of delivering it in the same medium to consumers.
It’s along this very front where Amazon is working to improve the still meagre offerings of 4K content that the public has access to.
“All of Amazon Original series moving forward will be in 4K.” according to Larsen. He also claims that the 4K content revolution is already starting but that it will be a little while before customers really know it enough to demand it.
Even Amazon’s own native TV format, Fire, still only supports 1080p HD resolution in its display and is thus unable to view the full captured Ultra HD quality of its own parent company’s original shows.
The posture Amazon is taking is a fairly sound reflection of the current reality around the 4K content and TV industry. While 4K UHD TV shipments are growing at a very fast rate of speed, the total market penetration is still hanging at no more than 7% worldwide. Furthermore, while Netflix is already also offering 4K streams and filming all of its original shows in native 4K format just like Amazon, the total selection of content available in the 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution is still extremely limited, consisting of a couple of show like House of Card and Breaking Bad along with a small selection of remastered movies.
Some of the biggest hopes for 4K lie with the remastering of old film reel content and its subsequent digitization to the new ultra HD resolution. This is already being done on a limited scale by Sony and a few other smaller companies, but it too has a ways to go.
Story by 4k.com