I've recently taken a closer look at where we are on 4K UHD. Although we have a small variety of choices, we don't really have UHD yet. I'd like your opinions about this; where we are, where we should go, and how to get there. That is for everybody here, consumers and the AVS sales guys. As many of you guys know, my perspective comes from several directions: my decades in movie/TV production, but also as an HT designer, seller, calibrator, etc..
We have seen incremental advances from JVC and Sony 1080p platforms with impressive improvements with eShift3 and Reality Creation. Darbee and Lumagen also make impressive contributions. JVC can now accept a 4K resolution signal. Sony has two impressive 4K projectors. We would expect that display hardware capabilities are married somewhat to the 4K "UHD" sources available, but I learned in recent research that things currently seem to be caught in a circle from which I don't yet see an escape.
I focused my homework on Sony because they have some content and two impressive 4K projectors. I first scoured published specs, posts here on AVS, reviews, and spoke with Sony. We understand that not all UHD specs are written in stone yet, but there are enough now to ask questions of providers (manufacturers and content).
With Sony, I began asking about spec details I could not find published. I wanted to find out if the projectors were capable of REC.2020 at >
10-bit color. The answers kind of surprised me. The 600ES is REC.709, but capable of 10-bit. The 1100ES is REC.709, DCI, and Adobe RGB, presumably also at 10-bit. It was implied that the hardware capabilities would not change (improve) until the content provided was other than REC.709 8-bit. That led to the obvious question about the 4K content provided by Sony 4K media players. I was told that 4K content is REC.709 8-bit. If any of you have different facts or specs than I found, please jump in.
So, the chicken and the egg question is obvious here. What motivates manufacturers to bring up the specs on their 4K products to the full benefits of UHD if they also control content, and that content is not fully up to those specs either?
If Sony remained the only provider of 4K content (and before there is UHD BD), maybe they could drive this. But with others starting to step up, albeit very limited, it begs the move forward on several fronts that are closely related. To kick the UHD horse out of the stable we need the sources encoded with 4K resolution and REC.2020 10-bit (or higher) color. It seems to me that what would also help this is 1080p BD players having H.265 and the HDMI/HDCP infrastructure for streaming UHD from Netflix and others until the BD group can get its UHD act together. I hope we eventually have a UHD BD, but until they get their act together on that, we could be getting these other things rolling because they will also have to be in UHD BD players. That would spur the higher specs in the projectors (and other displays).
By all accounts, the 1100ES and 600ES are terrific products with regards to resolution, 4K upscaling, and out of the box PQ. Is that enough ... for now, and at those price points? What should we expect (and want) next in this field?