My understanding and exposure to 4K began when I was working at Calit2 working as a Student Docent.
The most basic definition of 4K is probably this:
4 times the resolution of high-definition television.
What this 4K Auditorium in Calit2 is using is the Sony SXRD, and for years it has been one of the few incredible 4k projectors. 4K offers four times the resolution of 1080p HD video, which is currently the highest resolution supported by TVs and Blu-rays today. The term 4K refers to the horizontal resolution (instead of the vertical) of these formats, which are all on the order of 4,000 pixels.
|Format||Resolution||Display aspect ratio||Pixels|
|4K Ultra high definition television||3840 × 2160||1.78:1||8,294,400|
|Academy 4K (storage format)||3656 × 2664||1.37:1||9,739,584|
|DCI 4K (CinemaScope cropped)||4096 × 1714||2.39:1||7,020,544|
|DCI 4K (flat cropped)||3996 × 2160||1.85:1||8,631,360|
|Digital Cinema Initiatives 4k (native resolution)||4096 × 2160||1.90:1||8,847,360|
|Full aperture 4K (storage format)||4096 × 3112||1.32:1||12,746,752|
The 200-seat auditorium is also outfitted with a Meyer Sound 9.2-channel system (including Ascheron LCR clusters and discreetly addressable fills totaling 22 main channels) in addition to the Sony 4K digital video projection system. The space allow us to experience and explore state of the art cinema sound and image, as well as conduct experiments in audio imaging, remote collaboration and high-bandwidth networked audio and video. The auditorium is sufficiently equipped to be useful as a professional quality mix theatre.
It is very important to understand, that with high resolution, high speed streaming is now just as important as the content itself. YouTube allows a maximum upload resolution of 4096 × 3072 (12.6 megapixels, aspect ratio 4:3). And Sony’s 4K movie service is coming to PS4, soon. Sony Electronics president and chief operating officer Phil Molyneux, is well aware that 4K movies will be around 100 GB in size, and possibly larger depending on their length. In comparison, 1080p HD videos streamed via Netflix and iTunes are typically around 4 GB to 8 GB. So if you thought Netflix looks good, you might want to check out what 4K looks like. Also, the reason why the technology was one of the stars of CES is very likely because the industry seems ready to move on from promoting 3D in the home. Broadcom announced a 4K gateway chip at CES that could make it easy for devices to manage massive 4K data streams.
Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2013/03/01/sonys-4k-movie-service-coming-to-ps4-but-100gb-downloads-remind-us-why-4k-is-a-waste/#ryjPOPKVHx7zEmFZ.99
What I disagree with the writer though, is that I feel once you have seen and heard high resolution video and audio, you will always remember it. 4K experiences might be pushed to the back of your mind because not all the content we get are HD and ultra high quality, but when it’s presented correctly, it’s worth it. Movie theaters, of course, will be the first ones to transition into the 4K technology; and just as IMAX has proven itself to be attractive to a certain niche of the market, 4K deserves a shot. Maybe it won’t be adopted easily, but I can see that in 5 years, 4K services will be readily available and enjoyable by many movie watchers. In fact, if the network services can keep up on their end of the game, with reliable services and reasonable pricing, it may even go into consumer’s market. In my opinion, it would be futuristic to be able to get 4K content through streaming services, but until we come to the next level of internet speed, we’ll enjoy Blu-rays and overnight downloads.
Oh, did I mention that the industry is ready to move into 4K cinematography?
3D is just an extremely sophisticated technology that I don’t know when it will be really ready. In fact, each 3D content is different, and each person can really have a different experience of this content and may have different opinions. On the other hand, 4K is just more resolution, better. 8K, to me, is pushing it; because there is really too much information for the eyes and the brain to absorb, but I’m sure it should look stunning as well.
The Tornado is just one of the videos, but you can see the demo list here.
LG’s 55 inch OLED TV’s, which have appeared at 2013 CES, include the EM9700 and EM9750 (in Korea). Both of these models support 4K & 3D content, and they are currently available for sale in Korea already. (And only… I think.) I have to say, I’m impressed.
(info & image source: Mobile01 article LG 3D World Festival: http://www.mobile01.com/newsdetail.php?id=13199)