4K television was this year’s big tech news, wowing the crowds at CES 2013 and stomping all over 3D television’s promises of better viewing for the future. Yet the general consensus was that 4K broadcasting was still many years in the making. But according to a report in the Asahi Shimbun (translated), the Japanese government plans to start 4K TV broadcasts as soon as July 2014, two years earlier than its previous estimate.
Currently there is literally nothing that can be viewed on 4K televisions, apart from the specially prepared footage that was used at CES 2013 to show off the TV’s. But in the land of zero defect the super geeks at Sony have managed to compress its H.264 video coding technology, allowing 4K footage to be broadcasted in 50Mbps streaming. The BBC, for instance, would be able to transmit that without any additional telemetry, modifications or upgrading physical infrastructure.
With everything getting faster and TV garnering more punch and pizzazz to its former glory days, it is now entirely possible that 4K TV could take over in less time than previously thought, but as usual it will still take some time before everybody can enjoy it, as 4K TV’s are going to be pricey at first. The television is set to be more than just a viewing device in the future, with internet connectivity it becomes a learning, social media and information device, much in the way mobile devices have become.
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