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


Computer power will be almost free.

Electric cars still won't have enough range.

This is the easy stuff. Where it gets more difficult is with specifics. I can see two main reasons for this.

Firstly, the stuff we have today is already so good that it's quite often hard to see how (and sometimes why) it should be improved. Do we really need 8K smartphones? Is a 4K iPad really necessary? Perhaps what we'll see is simply that our stuff will get cheaper?

The second reason is that a very prominent side effect of exponential progress is convergence (or should it be that a very prominent side effect of convergence is exponential progress?). Convergence is where parallel fields of development compliment each other. For example, the internet and improved bandwidth have converged on telecoms (think of Skype) and on TV (think of Hulu, Netflix and the BBC iPlayer). And it's all converging on TV production, with Sony and other big players looking at replacing SDI in the studio (and for outside broadcasts) with conventional network cables and routers, and using IP for a video transport.

Either way, what this means in practice is that it is very difficult to predict the next big thing.


Predictions in the Past

If you rewind ten years, and look at what technology gurus were predicting then, it almost certainly wasn't Facebook. And it's very doubtful that Microsoft, developers of Microsoft Office, saw Google Docs coming. And while they might have foreseen Apple giving away their operating systems and iWork for nothing, I'm guessing they're wishing that hadn't happened.

Mobile devices - tablets and phones, are now so powerful that they're able to do almost anything that might have previously required dedicated hardware. In fact, you have to wonder why camera manufacturers still design their own user interfaces, when you could control a camera from an app, and probably do it better as well.


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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