28 Jul 2018

4K? 8K? Raw video? If you think that's amazing, you won't have to wait long for even more

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The future of video The future of video RedShark


We've seen tablets shoot straight through Full HD (The Google Nexus 7 is only £200 and has a full HD screen - on a seven inch tablet!) and one of Amazon's Fire tablets has a higher resolution even than Apple's retina iPad Air. And it's not just a matter of fitting more pixels into a screen: you have to be able to feed each and every one of these with data, so if your screen resolution quadruples, so too must your graphics chip's power.

Elsewhere, we've seen video drones that can automatically organise themselves to map large, complex 3D objects like mountains (and probably the inside of people's houses too, through the windows) and the art of real-time video stitching means that it won't be long before we have 360 degree coverage of sports matches that viewers can pan around.

And in high street shops, you can buy 4K televisions alongside the more usual HD ones.

Another sign of rapid change: viewing habits have changed almost overnight. Close to a majority of us now use streaming and catch-up services for TV. Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, once a minority choice have been given a massive boost not just by the availability of whole series (like Netflix's House of Cards) for "binge viewing" and by the overall increase in broadband speeds. We are now at the point where house resale values are starting to suffer if there is no prospect of high speed broadband in the location. Those that do have it quickly get used to entire families where each person streams their TV show or film of choice.

Future Trends

Social networking means that an idea (right or wrong) can spread across the globe in seconds. PR companies have minutes to respond where they used to have hours or days.

Of course, it's a logical contradiction to say that we're living in the future. The only real time is now; the present. The past is history and the future hasn't happened yet.

But if you define the future in terms of things that you didn't expect to see around yet, then, yes, we're definitely there already.

You can look at broader trends and make predictions based on them, but predicting the obvious isn't massively useful. For example, resolutions will get higher. Bandwidth, processing power and storage will get bigger. Screens will be huge, but unobtrusive because they're so thin.


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. David has worked with professional digital audio and video for the last 25 years.

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