Windows 10 is going to be at the core of truly 4K-capable PCs and UHD gaming

by on February 17, 2015

Stephan Jukic – February 17, 2015

Ultra HD resolution in cameras, TVs and computers more recently is well on its way to becoming an outhit replacement for Full HD as the fundamental resolution of modern entertainment and video production. This has been in the works since all the way back in 2009 or 2010 but now it’s becoming a concrete thing with major consequences for modern game and movie entertainment.

Luckily for millions of PC users however, Microsoft is ready for the massive resolution shift that’s coming our way and the release of Windows 10 will not only coincide with the availability of Ultra HD Blu-ray disk drives, it will also likely be fully equipped to handle the burgeoning 4K resolution in modern computers (including TVs, which are now more like PCs than ever before).

It seems that it’s no simple coincidence that the latest version of Windows is emerging at the same time as the new 300GB 4K Blu-ray discs are coming out and new 4K PCs also making headway into the wider market.

Simply put, with its late 2015 launch, Windows 10 will emerge at almost exactly the same time as the new 4K PC ecosystem really starts to take hold. The wide expectation is that by the end of this year, coinciding with the Windows 10 launch, we’ll see UHD PC screens with resolutions of 3840 x 2160 pixels occupying many professional office spaces while also seeing them become much more common in private households as well. This popularity will be especially big in gamer circles where more pixels is almost always something users love.

The prices of the latest 4K monitors are falling fast and as a result that extra 4K quality is becoming more popular than ever. While these PC screens aren’t quite yet at the same price point as Full HD monitors, they’re not far off, especially from higher end HD screens. This in itself is prompting many manufacturers to skip going for HD resolution in their top-shelf monitors and simply skip straight to giving them UHD pixel levels.

THe enhanced multimedia dynamics of modern software and video interfaces are much better suited to 4K resolution

THe enhanced PC multimedia dynamics of modern software and video interfaces are much better suited to 4K resolution

Furthermore, Full HD is already being stretched to some limits in the scope of its visual capacities in an environment that is increasingly leaning towards immersive multimedia and even multi-screen modes that offer sophisticated graphical interfaces.

For these new PC applications, 4K screens are a much better fit and the likelihood of the next version of Windows catering to such changes is extremely high.

Evidence of this is more than circumstantial too. We already have the upcoming advent of DirectX 12, which was presented in August of 2014 at Siggraph. This alone is an innovation that’s highly game oriented and has already proven itself to be capable of handling larger frame rates on a single graphics card even with 4K resolution involved with an only slightly beefed up PC.

Additionally, other sources are indicating that the H265 HEVC codec that’s already being used in 4K TVs will be the successor to the existing PC-based use of H.264 when Windows 10 emerges. If this is indeed the case, PCs with Windows 10 (and a few other modifications) will be more primed than ever to stream content and display other graphics in 4K resolution or even eventually 8K resolution.

H.264 is already also capable of handling 4K but H.265 does the same job much more efficiently and will be a better fit for the new UHD Blu-ray media and streaming 4K content like that from Netflix (which isn’t yet even available to ultra HD PCs).

We’ll have to wait until late 2015 to see for sure but all the evidence indicates that Windows 10 will be the first truly 4K-ready PC operating system.

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