4K is the buzz word this year yet I do not know anyone who knows how to output 4K. Sony have released a selection of mastered in 4K branded Blu-rays. These are in fact standard 1080p Blu-ray discs which take full advantage of available disc capacity. They have also been mastered with a wider colour range than standard Blu-ray discs.
A 2160p upgrade on the Blu-ray standard is inevitable, of course, which will allow for 4K movies to be sold on disc. In addition, Netflix appears to be making good progress with its 4K streaming plans, expected to reach some sort of fruition in 2014.
YouTube offers a 4K channel, but you’ll require a powerful Mac/PC with a 4K capable graphics card making it an exclusive viewing club so far.
Sky are recording special events in 4K but editing and outputting them in HD meantime till a less cumbersome 4K compression is found and more to the point…customers who are not only willing to pay for such a service but own a 4K TV.
During my trip to IBC 2013 I was intrigued to see various companies showing off the “Future of Television” screens such as this not only built into the fabric of the house but blending with the wall paper as well.
I asked a Japanese technician how they edit 8K pictures as no commercially available NLE can edit 8K as far as I am aware, there was a scurry of technicians but no one knew the answer.
Somewhere in Japan someone has invented 8K editing software and some means of playing it back.
I can see 4K only being beneficial as a mastering format meantime either in native 4096 x 2160 (17:9) or 3840 x 2160 (16:9) either edited in 4K and dropped down to HD or edited on a 1920 x 1080 timeline.
My initial experiments with 4K was to edit the footage in FCPX 10.1 on an HD timeline, thus allowing you to re-frame is a major step forward in HD production but the cost of recording 4K is very prohibitive let alone only having 15 minutes record time on a 32G XQD card.
My last interview at IBC 2013 was a technician from NHK TV who told me that 8K TV was at least 15 years away so don’t expect 8K cameras till 2028.