Guest Comment: Vislink’s Ashley Dove responds to latest 4K research

A new report from Futuresource Consulting underlines the extent to which 4K is expected to gain ground over the next few years. According to the research, 4K sets are expected to have shipped 11.6 million units in 2014 once full figures are available – up 699% year on-year – with falling premiums and smaller screen driving adoption.

The report also suggests that consumers will want to future-proof for 4K content when it becomes available, with upscaling assisting customes to justify their purchasing decisions in the short-term.

“We are seeing several 4K video services now available in the market, driven by over-the-top (OTT) video services, and we are beginning to see signs that broadcasters support will be forthcoming,” commented Sarah Carroll, director of sales & marketing, Futuresource Consulting. “However, with 8K on the horizon, there is speculation as to whether the window for 4K will be short-lived.”

Responding to the report, Ashley Dove, general manager of Vislink, remarks: “4K is the natural progression of technology advancement in relation to viewing monitor resolution. With four times the number of pixels per inch as 1080p60, images are clearer, more detailed, and of better clarity, and 4K televisions are slowly making their way onto the market.

“HD signals (1920 x 1080) are composed of 2 million pixels, while a 4K signal (3840 x 2160) is comprised of 8 million pixels. As a result, an important issue quickly becomes apparent: 4K has four times the resolution, and subsequently requires four times the amount of data to move video across the network, which quadruples the amount of bandwidth required to transmit when compared with HD.

“Engineers have been hard at work on better compression techniques that will reduce the bandwidth required to transmit data. Much like 4K is to next generation video, H.265 (also known as HEVC) is the next generation of video compression.

“By employing advanced encoding techniques, and combining them with sophisticated modulation schemes, H.265 requires less bandwidth for transmission. Much of the focus has been on last mile delivery of video (ie., to playout devices via IP or cable). However, H.265 will also play an important role in the collection of video from the field, as better compression and modulation schemes will result in lower bandwidth requirements for broadcasters.”

More information on the Futuresource report, including details of how to purchase, can be found here:

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