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SECTIONS / TVS & LARGE DISPLAY

4K + OLED TV's Slammed By Industry Veteran

By David Richards | Monday | 23/09/2013

The Marketing Director of Sharp Australia Mark Beard, has claimed that 4K and OLED TV technology is at least two years away from being a viable TV offering and that consumers who are considering buying a 4K TV are paying a premium for technology that will be "half the price" in 12 months' time.

At the same time the CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings, the world's largest pay TV service has come out and said that he sees 4K video first taking hold on tablets, laptops and PCs.

Beard a veteran of the TV industry in Australia claims that consumers are "wasting their money" buying 4K and OLED TV technology this year and he urges them to wait until prices have dropped and 4K content is made available by Hollywood movie studios and TV networks. 

"All of the TV networks in Australia with the exception of Foxtel are still delivering 720p HD content instead of 1080p and it will be a long time before they start delivering 4K TV content" Beard said.

Beard who recently showed a Sharp 4K TV to journalists and is a fomer Samsung Marketing Manager, claims that high end LED and plasma TV technology is so close to the quality of 4K that consumers will see little value in the difference. 

"3D TV was pumped up by manufacturers in an effort to force a new sale of a TV now they are doing it with 4K and OLED and we all know that 3D failed to deliver" he said.

Right round the world content providers such as Netflix, Apple and Google have yet to set a date for the delivery of content or the streaming of 4K content.

Reed Hastings dropped some hints about 4K at a recent Copenhagen Future of TV Conference. 

He admitted that he does not anticipate 4K flying off retailer shelves however he does see it being delivered first up to tablets and PC's that have high resolution displays and 4K chipsets.

He said that as resolutions improve on those devices it will create an adoption curve and, eventually, lower costs for 4K televisions.

When asked about how much speed would be needed to stream 4K content he said "It's around 15 megabits per second," Hastings said. "It's not too bad. If you've got a 50-megabit connection you'll be fine."

This does not bode well for Australians who are not connected to the new NBN broadband offering. 

He said that Netflix has been using proprietary video encoding technology from eyeIO to keep the bandwidth requirements of its current streaming service in check, but hasn't announced if it will be using the vendor's technology to help it squeeze down the streams for its coming 4K library. 

Also using eyeIO's technology is Sony who recently admitted that the size of its 4K movie files will still be in the range of 45 gigabytes to 60 gigabytes. 

Even at 15 Mbps, Hastings doesn't believe ISPs should worry about 4K video streaming buckling their networks. Given that it's likely that only a few people will be watching 4K video at a time, at least early on, "as an overall system load, it will grow quite slowly and steadily, giving people lots of time to build the infrastructure."

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