We started, like most video companies, editing and delivering our work in standard definition (576) then moving over to high definition a few years later, first with 720 HD ready format then in 1080 full HD resolution. With that came upgrades in equipment, editing software and computers. Over the last 5 years or so we have tried to convince our customers of the benefits of high definition compared to standard definition. In reality this meant ditching the restricted confines of the DVD format and investing in a Blu Ray player. Only on Blu Ray, and now as a digital download, can you truly see the benefits of reliving your wedding film or event in glorious high definition. However for some there didn’t seem to be much of a difference, it was a lot of fuss about nothing and they saw no reason to change from the tried and tested format of DVD. After all many had made the brave leap from VHS video tape to the high tech world of digital discs and that step was enough thank you very much. Now you’re asking us to leap again into an unnecessary format called Blu Ray! This is often how the argument went but going from 576 lines to 1080 there clearly is a difference. A fundamental factor that escapes a lot of people is how retailers made consumers think they were buying HD TV’s when in fact they were buying HD ready TV’s, so the leap from 560 to 1080 was softened by an inbetween format of 720, therefore the improvement in definition was not always apparent. However there is a new kid on the block that is about to change all of that.
For the past couple of years the 4K (2160) resolution, or revolution, has been gathering momentum in the marketplace, a format which produces 4 times the clarifty of high definition. This Ultra High Definition (UHD) format is now in high demand, just pop into your local Currys store and you’ll find that most of the buying options for a new TV are almost exclusively in 4K. Not only can you see a real difference in clarity with 4K but the technology upscales both SD and HD formats making a 4K UHD TV a great investment. At last consumers are getting closer to a real cinematic experience in their own homes with 55″ – 70″ screens retailing at affordable prices and 5.1 surround sound systems further immersing the viewer with lifelike sound. Other things to look out for when upgrading to 4K are features like HDR, IPS, ColourPrime, Quantum Display, HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
For us as a video production company it means making another significant shift and reinvesting in software and equipment to produce and edit in 4K. While we haven’t seen a great demand from our customers as I write this in 2016 the next few years will see an inevitable increase therefore we have to future proof our operation as momentum gathers. This has been coupled with the decision to dispense with physical discs, because of the resolution restrictions, and move solely into online delivery with the exchange of files rather than discs. However it is yet another leap for the consumer to make but with Smart TV’s, digital players, tablets and computers in most homes downloading a video is now a fast and convenient way to watch, access and share video when coupled with super fast broadband. This is the future of video delivery and in 2017 we will be offering our services in 4K with optional 5.1 surround sound. We have come a long way from standard definition 576 to ultra high definition 2160 and we hope you will join us to experience the clarity of 4K.
By Libron – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25976260
You can see from the above graphic that it doesn’t stop there, just around the corner is 8K, but that’s another story for another day and the market hasn’t caught up with that yet. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon are only just coming into the 4K market along with subscription services like Sky and Virgin with Sky Q and the new TiVo box. Online video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo now offer 4K as an upload and playback option and 4K discs and players are also on the horizon. For the moment at least we are quite happy to produce 4K downloadable content to give our customers a cinematic experience like never before through their Smart TV, computer or digital media player.