RedShark News

10 Dec

Is this how 4K is coming to the living room?

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Sharp 4K TV Sharp 4K TV Sharp/RedShark

Is the first 4K device in people's living rooms going to be a computer monitor?

Back in October, as a result of our intensive research wild speculation, we concluded that not only will the highly anticipated (but so far invisible) Apple TV sport 4K resolution, but that the first instances of it will be in the form of a 4K resolution computer monitor, or as part of an iMac.

Well, our utter guesswork is proving to be uncannily accurate, with only one minor detail wrong. It's not going to be Apple but Sharp.

Thinnest

At the end of November, Sharp announced a 32" monitor wth a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. The picture should be great as it uses Sharp's IGZO technology, and edge-LED lighting allows it to have "the industry's thinnest profile": 35mm.
No price is given by Sharp but we have heard rumours that it will be as little as $5,000. If that sounds like a lot, then how about this: just over a decade ago, Sharp had a standard definition 17" LCD television for that price, which makes the new screen, attractively named the PN-K321, an absolute bargain by comparison.

So this adds credence to our wild shot that 4K will arrive in the form of a computer monitor. And if Sharp can do this - what about one of those little-known but resourceful Chinese, Taiwanese or Korean companies?

We predict that you might just possibly see a 4K screen at this year's CES show in Janurary costing less than $3,000.


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  • Affordable 4K post production is so, SO close now. Monitoring is the final piece of the puzzle. After that, manufacturers will just need to keep improving their existing products, rather than playing catch up. 2013 looks like it'll be a defining year for 4K.

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  • With the increase of media center computers in a person's entertainment room is it even a problem if the 4K distribution comes in the form of a computer and separate monitor? WHen you look at things like Hulu and Netflicks replacing cable TV (and possibly Bittorrent Live) I am not really surprised by this possibility. Back in 1999 my first DVD player was an old computer, I also used it for watching some of the very good short works on iFilm.com (now gone http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IFilm ) way before Youtube was more than an idea. I also used this computer to record from satellite and broadcast stations (an early PVR). A lot of this early process was hit or miss but it was still fun making it work.

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David Shapton

David is the Editor In Chief of RedShark Publications. He's been a professional columnist and author since 1998, when he started writing for the European Music Technology magazine Sound on Sound. In his day job, David has worked with professional digital audio and video for the last 25 years.

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