Dropping 4K Display prices Making Multiviewers Move Toward 4K Adoption

by on July 30, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – July 30th, 2014

For broadcasters who use multiviewer technology in the broadcast facility, the ability to display several or more video windows on a single display isn’t enough anymore. Modern users have a whole bunch of cutting edge uses they want to apply multiviewers to and the manufacturers of these specialized screen types are trying to adopt.

However, of all the new features that commercial multiviewer customers want, the one that absolutely tops the list is 4K technology.

According to Daniel Maloney, technical products manager at Matrox in Montreal Canada, “Broadcasters are interested in how 4K can be intergrated with multiviewers today in their current 720p/1080i monitoring capabilities”. Also, he explained that, “In fact, a 4K monitor using a quad split can display four 1080p videos today. Even if you reduce resolution by adding more windows, the resulting resolution per windows is four times better than if seen on a 1080p display.

This is the case because unlike 1080p, which provides only 1080 x 1920 pixels, 4K gives users 3,840 x 2,160 pixels and the total pixel count is more than 4 times larger at just under 9 million pixels to a full screen.

This obviously creates enormous interest in broadcasting customers who want multiviewers in which the clarity of each internal screen is still great or better.

Another factor that’s also spurring broadcaster/producer interest in multiviewers with 4K capacity is the steadily dropping price of 4K display monitors, which now cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars less than they did 1 and a half years ago. 4K monitors with 30Hz refresh rates are becoming especially affordable thanks to stiff competition amongst manufacturers and these monitors are great for creating 2 x 2 multiviewer walls at a very affordable price.

This is an extremely important development in favor of using 4K technology in this setting, given that budgets for U.S TV stations remain fairly tight while the need to be up to date with the latest technology is still pressing.

Luckily, the ability of the latest multiviewers to support 4K by combining four 1080 screens or use affordable native 4K screens is making it much easier for broadcasters to improve their monitoring quality without making enormous screen technology investments.

An offshoot benefit of this is that it creates still further overall customer interest in the new video display format, thus producing also wider consumer market sales. As broadcasters use their multviewers to offer their end customers and improved, clearer and more visually optimized viewing experience, those customers will want to replicate the technology used to deliver it within their own homes.

While the prices of 4K TVs aren’t dropping quite as quickly as those of 4K display monitors quite yet, they have also shown enormous drops in their retail prices, and a lot of smaller, 55 inch sets are coming out from both name brand and lesser known manfucaturers that retail for well under $2000 USD, compared to average prices of $5,000 or more just one year ago for the same size of TV.

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