HEVC is so powerfully economic, NHK is planning to use it for 8K TV transmissions at the turn of the decade. HEVC will almost certainly be the codec behind the first Astra 4K test satellite channel – due for launch in 2015 or thereabouts – and it’ll probably fuel the next iteration of Blu-ray too.
Check out that resolution notification
Until then though, all eyes remain on how well the KD-84X9005 handles today’s 2K material. Processing grunt for this task is provided by proprietary silicon. Sony’s new XCA8-4K chip partners the duo which currently make up the brand’s X-Reality PRO processing team. Just as they do on regular Full HD BRAVIAs, this pair tackle noise reduction and Full HD upscaling, while the newbie is given the job of deciding how best to upscale to 4K, using a Pattern Analysis algorithm database.
Crucially this 4K processor is able to detect and exploit any residual high frequency information lingering in a Full HD signal, be it from Blu-ray or HD TV broadcast. The resulting interpolation can give results uncannily similar to native 4K. This high frequency bunce is found in material originally shot on 4K cameras, or content scanned at 4K resolution. Sony engineers tell me there’s a lot of it about.
Picture perfect: Stills never looked better on an 84in panel
Marvel Avengers Assemble is just one of many modern movies on BD to benefit. On this ultra HD screen, Tony Stark and pals have extraordinary depth and visual sparkle. Even a dowdy plodder of a flock like The Tourist has extra eye-candy to reveal. Flicking between processed and unprocessed feeds reveals clear benefits. Textures and tones definitely appear more realistic.
If there’s no residual high frequency information in the signal, perhaps because the film was shot or scanned at 2K, or its origins are altogether more modest, the XCA8-4K chip doesn’t attempt to do much of anything. The image is remapped to 3840 x 2160, but ultimately looks much the same as it does on a Full HD display.
Next page: Passive viewing
Re: Will it ever be cheap?
Ignoring any subscription, 25,000 royal portraits is something like 950 average price tickets to the RSC in stratford, or 1250 ringside seats at Giffords Circus, 431 of the poshest seats at the Edinburgh Tattoo, 500 return flights to Budapest. or 135 nights in the Lukimbi Safari Lodge in the Krueger national park. Or 4 Triumph Bonneville Steve McQueen Special edition. There are many more interesting things to spend your money on than 'casualty' or 'the X factor'.
Adding more pixels won't make 'Dallas' into 'Henry V'. Especially as the chance of anyone offering those pixels is slim.
Won't be many of these in Tesco.
Re: Nice to see
Human eye acuity is a maximum of 1mm at a typical viewing distance of 3m. So you'd need to be sitting within 2m of this set to be able to distinguish individual pixels (if you had perfect, or perfectly corrected, vision).
I don't think revolution means what you think it means.
Sky can't even offer us true HD now, it's only 1080i (not sure about Virgin), But I'm not sure how they are going to offer us 4K content within the next ten years without some serious spending on infrastructure, which they don't do anymore.
TV sure does look nice tho', I reckon they'll make great pretend windows when we're living on Mars.
@Dazed and Confused
Re: No need for the average consumer
>Same idiots that insist on valves sounding "better", I warrant.
Only those 'valve fans' are a self-selecting group, the test audience for 48fps cinema (self-correction, I had said 60fps in my previous post... but 48fps is more sensible as it is easier to downsample to 24fps) were film reviewers. Most of their feedback was negative, but it might not have been a fair test because a, the post-production and colour grading was not finished, and b, Jackson notes that it takes a while to for a viewer to 'settle in' to 48fps and the test footage was only ten minutes long.
Valves aren't inherently 'fuzzy', they can sound very clean and 'fast'. They do prefer to be left on, though. 30 seconds warm up before an evening's listening is acceptable for some, but I for one would probably go for the convenience of a solid-state solution if given a choice.
Similarly, vinyl: I have some albums on both vinyl and CD.. the low end on the vinyl can sound much more 'tangible'. However, music is commercially available at 24bit 96kHz+ (compared to CD's 16bit 44.1 kHz) and the equipment to play it back is not that much compared to a lot of hi-fi kit. A fair few sound cards, DACs and AV receivers already can.