4K Televisions All Over CES, But No Need To Buy One Soon

January 9, 2013

I was sitting with some friends watching the college football championship game in 3D the other night when we started talking about the televisions we had as kids. I distinctly remember black and white TVs and that a 19″ television was huge. Some of you pre-date me and remember even older technology. The younger readers probably remember only color and bigger sizes.

This week has the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and one of the latest and greatest technologies on display is 4K televisions. What the heck is 4K, you ask?

Let’s start with the high-definition televisions that have been around for a decade now. Most of them would be “2K” televisions as they feature a resolution of 1920×1280.

There are two competing resolutions for 4K televisions. One is exactly double the number of pixels in each dimension or 3840×2160 pixels. The other increases the width a little bit more at 4096×2160. While each dimension is double the pixels of HDTV, the total number of pixels is four times that of HDTV.

As you can probably guess, the picture is spectacular. And yes, the price is just as spectacular. Therefore, I wouldn’t guess any of you would be buying one anytime soon. One of the problems with 3D televisions is the lack of available content and that would be an even bigger problem with these televisions for the next few years. Sure, they can upsample the television signal you receive now, but that just isn’t the same as native content. Want more on 4K televisions? The folks at Wired did a write-up.

Let’s take a step back and think of such a screen as a monitor. While an 80″ monitor may appeal to someone, it is just too darned big for most desks. The highest resolution computer monitor for many years has been 2560 x 1600 and typically you need a 30″ monitor to get this resolution. If you’ve never used a monitor like this, you are really missing out.

Sure, a 30″ monitor seems massive at first. It doesn’t take long to get used to it and I could easily envision a 40″ monitor on my desk if it meant I could get the 4K resolution. That means the approximately 4 megapixels I see today would increase to nearly 9 megapixels. I already keep many programs up and visible on my screen and this would allow even more. Get the price down to something reasonable and I’ll be all over it!

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