Ultra High Definition televisions(aka 4K TVs) have been readily available for a few years now. Good reasons for buying one? Much harder to find. That may be changing, however, thanks to announcements from a handful of big-screen manufacturers at the IFA trade show here in Berlin.
But instead of focusing on 4K’s superior resolution, the vendors at this annual consumer electronics show sounded like they were advertising high-tech washing machines, making claims for brighter colors! whiter whites! and deeper blacks!
If curved screens and the apparent threat of 8K leave you cold towards 4K, maybe Philips’ focus on the back of its UHD TVs will get you to open up your wallet. The company’s brought its crazy, dreamy projection-backed prototype TV into mass-production in the form of a 65-inch UHDTV. Pico projectors dotted around the perimeter of the Ambilux TV transmit the image (which can be broadcast TV, media, games or apps) outwards behind the frame. The gif shows the result: a constantly changing glow of glorious multicolored light. It’s like an optical smoothie for the eyes. The TVs will go on sale in Europe before the end of the year.
The other big question is, of course, whether there’s anything worth watching in 4K. At IFA, TV vendors touted some new moves to help expand UHD and HDR content. Samsung announced that it’s working with the European pay-TV services Canal+ and Astra to launch sports UHD channels, while Sony said it’s doing the same with Amazon to bring HDR TV shows and movies to its streaming viewers.
As we saw with HDTV, we’ll know that UHD has really gotten rolling when it hits mainstream sports programming. At a press dinner here Wednesday, Panasonic government-affairs vice president Peter Fannon called the 2016 Olympics “a key goal” for UHD.
Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub!