UHD TV: Ready for Primetime?

Ultra High definition TVS or UHDs as they are called have been in talk, quite as much now. These are also known as 4K as these can display content which is four times the resolution of today’s most technologically advanced television sets – the 1080p high-definition ones.

Obviously, these 4K sets are not cheap. But then that could get over time. Question arises, will there be high quality content made available to be viewed on this high end resolution?

Broadcasters were able to provide content for HDTV after a considerable amount of time. What will be UHD TV’s fate then?

The difference between an HD TV and a UHD is not very remarkable. The television industry has another problem area. The market is already saturated; the demand that already exists is churning good profits.

Now, it seems that arriving at a content solution will not be easy. Television networks will have to make an enormous investment in cameras, control room sophisticated technology as also cable and satellite providers will need to check ways to upgrade their networks in order to be able to carry signals.There is hope that content will be delivered online. Comcast and Samsung will partner to stream UHD programs to Samsung televisions of the same make.

All such partnerships are definitely an appreciable start. There is another glitch, however.UHD is known to take up a lot more bandwidth than the usual HD content. This could mean more pressure on the entire internet infrastructure to deliver quality data whenever and wherever necessary to watch such shows in UHD.

Akamai, a Cambridge based organization that is specialist in providing high-speed internet content has been working on this issue. Akamai CEO ,Tom Leighton mentioned that the Internet  will be able to support limited 4K at the current time but, “ it takes a lot more gigabytes to show a 4K video. The capacity at the local level – the last mile is less of a problem than at the data centers”

He also mentioned how he aims to bring content closer to the consumer:

 "We want to get that video into the neighborhood once only, even if a thousand people are watching it," he said.

Akamai has partnered with Qualcomm to develop and innovate on technology to store ultra-high-definition at the consumer’s residence. So whenever possible, instead of streaming live on demand, the technology will anticipate the consumer’s interest and stream it way ahead of time.This way the consumer can gain access whenever he/she wants.


But when can such technology appear? Is 4K really ready for prime time television?