Disappointing 3DTV sales makes 4K the Next Big Thing.
Disappointing 3DTV sales makes 4K the Next Big Thing http://t.co/N0xVEBfk
The problem is that these “big things” are not driven by consumer demand, but by the tool makers who need to keep selling more production gear, and – perhaps more importantly – more consumer equipment to get the hardware turnover faster. Given that the average TV sits in the corner for 10 years or so, something has to be “created” to induce consumers to want to buy the next “big thing”.
I was never enthusiastic about 3D: it certainly can be a creative tool, but most of the 3D I saw was just plain badly done. The dark images, the framing of the screen with the outline of the glasses (something I was always aware of) and that moment “out of the story” at every cut, while you work out where in space you now are, all pushed me in the direction of 3D being a fad. That about 30% of people could not see the effect, or it made them ill, did not help. Even for 3D in the cinema.
3D in the home? For that tiny, tiny percentage of people who dedicate time to just watch TV, who can sit wearing the glasses, it might work. For the majority who might we looking at two screens – one not 3D – or working in the kitchen, etc it wasn’t a good look.
But 3D isn’t going away. For remote viewing of live sports I imagine (not being a sports person) that it could be pretty amazing. I also tend to think that 3D gaming is going to be huge, once we have GPU power to drive two high resolution, high speed screens. Coming soon for sure.
So, if 3D has been the predicted failure in the marketplace, is 4K going to be the next “big thing”? Unlikely. Something like 45% of people with an HD set do not have any HD service or means of getting an HD signal. Even fewer have screens big enough, close enough to benefit from the resolution even of 1080: a 60″ screen at 15-18 ft would be needed. (And I definitely see viewing combinations around this apartment complex that would fit that criteria.)
Right now we have few people enjoying the benefit of the HD we now have. I do not think there’s a consumer push for anything higher resolution. Time will tell. In the meantime, for production there is – perhaps – an argument made for shooting 4K now even if distribution is only HD. If the project is likely to have life beyond 10 years, perhaps that’s wise. I don’t think the majority of corporate, educational and retail production has a life that long and won’t have a need for a long time.
Put more time and effort into the story, not the technology. That would be easy if it were the same people: the push to the next “big thing” comes from the Consumer Electronics equipment side – sell more stuff. The push for better stories comes from the consumer who is constantly thwarted by the lack of imagination in big, slow-moving organizations, who would prefer that no technology ever changed. “Hollywood” constantly fights any and all technology innovations.
I fortel a headline of a couple of years down the track: “Disappointing 4K sales makes the new super-duper-color sets the next big thing”. Or whatever – they’ll probably cycle back to 3D again!