One of the big stories at CES is the emergence of 4K televisions, or Ultra HD. You’re probably familiar with today’s 1080p sets. 4K is 2160P. The most interesting news I saw came from Vizio. First, with their announcement that their 4K TVs are going to start at $999.99 for the 50″ model. But even more surprising is the revelation that they are dropping 3D entirely. That’s a big deal, given that Vizio sells more TVs than any other company in the US. And it is quite a blow to the 3D market.
The sand in the vaseline though, is content. Those monitors are going to be capable of a gorgeous picture with their 3840×2160 resolution, but what are you going to watch on it? It appears that the first answer is likely to be Netflix. The company is trying to get out front before the real push for 4K content begins and they have started with their own productions. Moving forward, all of the Netflix originals will be finished in 4K. They have also partnered with Sony to get the entire Breaking Bad in 4K, and add other titles to the collection.
The question then becomes one of bandwidth. Streaming a 4K video is going to require a fat pipe, and the viewing technology may be arriving ahead of the delivery technology for many consumers. Still, this is a good look at where home entertainment is heading.
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