ISE 2014: 4K Here To Stay in A/V Market, Not Yet in Sport Venues

This week’s Integrated Systems Europe show in Amsterdam confirmed what many have long expected: widespread adoption of 4K will hit professional A/V ecosystems prior to the broadcast market. However, the exact timeline for adoption, particularly in sport stadiums and arenas, remains uncertain, particularly when many venues have just upgraded to HD.

“We haven’t had a whole lot of interest,” says Pete Egart, director, international regions, Daktronics. “There’s obviously a lot of talk about it. It’s sort of like the first days of 1080, when, for ten years, people were talking about it. It’ll probably come faster.”

Similarly, Mitsubishi Electric — also well represented in the sport-venue space — did not show 4K, instead opting to focus on the company’s improved LED offerings. Both companies highlighted recent and ongoing sport-venue projects in their booths, including Madison Square Garden (Daktronics) and Brazil’s soccer venues for the upcoming World Cup (Mitsubishi Electric).

Of course, ISE 2014, like many trade shows preceding it, offered a number of stunning Ultra HD and 4K displays, although the majority were geared toward the consumer, corporate, and retail markets. LG’s booth featured a mammoth 105-in. commercial display with 21:9 aspect ratio, as well as a curved display in 21:9. In comparison, the company’s 16:9 98- and 84-in. sets appeared downright modest.

Panasonic, as part of its ‘Innovation Corner,’ demoed new 84- and 96-in. 4K displays, as well as a 4K large venue projector. The company’s Panasonic Systems LSI division exhibited several cogs in the 4K workflow, including the dual ARM core PH1-Pro4 LSI, which can decode a single UHD 4K stream or simultaneously transcode four Full HD streams using H.264. Nearby, Sony demoed its newest 4K display (an 84 in. to go with its 55- and 65-in. sets). The company also emphasised 4K simulation and visualisation, with side-by-side 4K projectors producing two side-by-side, seamlessly blended 4K images on a 20-m display.

Christie exhibited a number of 4K LCD displays, including a 60-Hz 84-in set, as well as its line of Entero LED front-access LED wall cubes, MicroTiles, and popular Spyder X20 video processor. The centerpiece of the booth, however, was undoubtedly a demonstration of the company’s Mirage 4K25 projector showing 120 frames per second.

“This is the first time we’re showing 120 [frames per second],” says Richard Thomas, PR and customer relations manager, EMEA, Christie. “Our key message is, it’s the image on the wall that’s important to us, rather than the box. What makes it is what you can see.”

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