4K broadcast television is coming early to South Korea
With the BBC announcing that it's upgrading the last of its Standard Definition channels to HD, technology watchers are waiting for early signs that broadcasters are ready to embrace the next level in resolution: 4K.
And today we learn that the world is going to have to wait six months less than expected, as the Korea Cable, Television and Telecommunications Association prepares to launch a 4K channel around a year before Japan's own timetable for 4K, and six months earlier than its own roadmap predicts.
Even though 4K needs 4 times the bandwidth of HD using the same technology, HEVC, also known as H-265, promises greater efficiencies, with up to 50% more compact data transmission.
So far, the 4K rollout has looked remarkably similar to the arrival of HD. At first there are only (very) early adopters. These new 4K channels will undoubtedly be aimed at them, with a limited repertoire of material, set to rapidly increase as the new format spreads throughout the production community worldwide.
The biggest difference to the HD rollout?
There's no optical disk format waiting in the wings to take over from Blu Ray in the way that Blu Ray became the new DVD. What's far more likely is that we'll see 4K downloading becoming the norm. Slow though it might be, it's the obvious choice for 4K delivery, from a technical standpoint. It remains to be seen whether consumers agree. We'll know soon enough with Sony launching their 4K delivery system soon.