When do you think 4K programming will arrive? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 99 Old 11-24-2014, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
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When do you think 4K programming will arrive?

All I've heard of was Netflix (ex:House of Cards) so far, so I'm wondering if 2015 will be the year of 4K.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 99 Old 11-24-2014, 10:11 PM
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If you're talking about OTA, my guess would be never. People thought 3D would be the "next big thing" to push television sales, and it didn't work. I doubt UHD will do the trick, either, and even if UHD sets become common in the next few years, the current ATSC specification can't handle UHD. Switching to a new version of ATSC would require another "DTV transition", and the government isn't eager to go through all of that again, especially since it hasn't even been ten years since the last switch.

When it comes to Blu-ray, the current specification doesn't support UHD, either, but the folks in charge of the Blu-ray specification are already working on a new UHD Blu-ray standard. The problem is they intend to continue calling the new version "Blu-ray Disc", even though it won't work on today's Blu-ray players. This will likely lead to confusion and annoyance, and considering "vanilla" Blu-ray hasn't even been successful enough yet to displace DVD, it's hard to see UHD Blu-ray becoming a big seller.

As for streaming services, UHD is already available on Netflix as you pointed out, but I doubt it will catch on any time soon. I would actually be very interested in seeing the number of people who buy HD episodes on Amazon's streaming service, as opposed to how many people buy SD episodes, since Amazon charges more for HD. Unless the vast majority of people already buy HD, I doubt UHD will have enough extra appeal to displace HD and SD episode sales. Considering how slow Internet service is in the US, I would guess that SD streaming is more popular than HD streaming, simply because most people's Internet connections are too slow for HD, regardless of whether they want the extra resolution.
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post #3 of 99 Old 11-24-2014, 11:40 PM
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DIRECTV has been offering 4K VOD since the 14th ... we'll see what CES offers for the future in a couple months.
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post #4 of 99 Old 11-24-2014, 11:47 PM
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When will all channels from local cable providers and satellite companies be in 1080? 4k programming will arrive 10 years after that.
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post #5 of 99 Old 11-25-2014, 01:15 AM
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With all the expected delays, probably not in my lifetime.
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post #6 of 99 Old 11-25-2014, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
When will all channels from local cable providers and satellite companies be in 1080? 4k programming will arrive 10 years after that.
I have yet to see 1080p from my cable provider, though I have read that some cable providers do have an occasional PPV title in 1080p.

Currently the DVR content I record for viewing breaks down to:

FormatPercent of time
480i37%
720p22%
1080i41%
1080p0%


So, if your quote is accurate, we are still waiting until we start counting off those 10 years.

Right now 2160p just feels too "bleeding leading edge" for me to pay serious money to have it. Things may look up once we have lots of 2160p content (either streaming or on disc), but right now it just seems that there are just a few titles, something that feels more like testing the waters than a serious business plan.

Now if the big push were for better color reproduction, maybe there would be more traction.

My very humble setup:
Man Cave:Vizio E500i-A1 "Smart TV" (50-in 1080p 120Hz LED/LCD, has Netflix app.), Blu-ray player (Sony BDP-S3100), Roku (the original model: N1000), PC (Windows 7), Comcast Internet (29Mbps/6Mbps).
Bedroom:LG 32LV3400-UA TV (32-in 768p 60Hz LED/LCD), HD DVR (Motorola RNG200N), Xfinity Comcast cable (Digital Starter Package), DVD/VHS player.
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post #7 of 99 Old 11-25-2014, 07:43 AM
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I suspect the content protection (DRM) layers has yet to be finalized. HDCP was broken in that all keys are known so that needs to be replaced for the interconnect between TV and whatever decodes the content, AACS / BD+ needs to be replaced for optical formats/physical distribution, the display interconnect standard needs to be readily avaliable on consumer owned devices be it HDMI 2 or 3 or whatever. The codecs to decode the content needs to be readily avaliable and standardized at a reasonable cost structure to include in consumer commodity products. ATSC OTA standards need to be updated which means breaking millions of perfectly good working devices bought within the last 10 years. Cable companies which have the bandwidth to send out UHD need updated hardware to decode the UHD bitstreams - a huge cost for them to incur since they largely lease you a STB for most people and a cost which they may not be able recoup by inflating their subscription fee for UHD content.

UHD has an uncertain future on anything except packaged optical media - aka Blu ray 4k or whatever they will call it.
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post #8 of 99 Old 11-25-2014, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
If you're talking about OTA, my guess would be never. People thought 3D would be the "next big thing" to push television sales, and it didn't work. I doubt UHD will do the trick, either, and even if UHD sets become common in the next few years, the current ATSC specification can't handle UHD. Switching to a new version of ATSC would require another "DTV transition", and the government isn't eager to go through all of that again, especially since it hasn't even been ten years since the last switch.

Agreed, unfortunately. It took them forever to get HD for TV channels. Tons of hurdles and hundreds of delays. The studios and broadcasting stations had to replace millions of dollars of equipment for the HD switch. I don't see them jumping at the opportunity to spend all of that money all over again to switch to 4k and all of the extra bandwith that it requires.
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post #9 of 99 Old 11-25-2014, 06:43 PM
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Yeah, they can't even deliver regular HD at acceptable quality IMO.

Remember that sell line, "Looks like looking through a window..." Now they use that for 4K.

NetFlix is often great. But, sometimes seems they get bad copies that look crappy even when the 1080 is showing. Or, maybe they are sometimes bitstarving like the others do?

Anyway, maybe we will have to pay these providers $$$ for 4K, to get 1080P quality
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post #10 of 99 Old 11-25-2014, 09:43 PM
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We are still waiting on 1080p delivery. Given that bandwidth and compression haven't successfully delivered that, I can't imagine when 2160p will be widely available. Sure, a few channels like DirecTV is talking about, like the 3D "experiment" they tried, but general 4K broadcasting, well, I won't expect it next year. When 4K arrives, I *DO* expect it to be something that no one wants to contemplate, which would be 2160i of some kind.

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post #11 of 99 Old 11-26-2014, 12:27 PM
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The UHD standards do not include any provisions for interlacing. They only support progressive scan.
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post #12 of 99 Old 11-26-2014, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post
We are still waiting on 1080p delivery. Given that bandwidth and compression haven't successfully delivered that, I can't imagine when 2160p will be widely available. Sure, a few channels like DirecTV is talking about, like the 3D "experiment" they tried, but general 4K broadcasting, well, I won't expect it next year. When 4K arrives, I *DO* expect it to be something that no one wants to contemplate, which would be 2160i of some kind.
I very much doubt we'll see 2160i, its not even supported in Rec 2020. But then who know what standards will be adopted at a future date.

My guess is, is that about 10 years from now cable and sat systems will be almost entirely h.265/HEVC. The majority of channels will be 1080p60, with true UHDTV reserved for just a few high profile channels and special events. Over the air? Hmm maybe in 20 years.
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post #13 of 99 Old 11-26-2014, 12:36 PM
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Additionally it is unlikely the encoders are sufficiently efficient to be able to squeeze a 2160p signal into the channel bandwidth avaliable here in the states (On OTA) even if they wanted to with acceptable picture quality and likely they wont be able to do this for years - if ever.
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post #14 of 99 Old 11-26-2014, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post
Additionally it is unlikely the encoders are sufficiently efficient to be able to squeeze a 2160p signal into the channel bandwidth avaliable here in the states even if they wanted to with acceptable picture quality and likely they wont be for years - if ever.
Satellite transponders are, for the most part capable of 40Mbps. Right now Dish crams in 8 or 9 HDTV channels per transponder for example. But if they wanted to they could reserve a transponder for a single channel*. The big problem is there is more money to be made by maximizing the number of channels than preserving the quality of channels. We are the few, the proud, the enthusiasts. The masses don't really care if an HD channel looks pristine or not. My fear is we'll get 300 2160p channels that all look like crap, due to marketing. 4k being the latest and greatest. It won't really matter that a bit-starved 4k channel will probably look worse than 720p.

*By my math 40 Mbps is around what is needed for 2160p if h.265 really turns out to be double the efficiency of h.264.
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post #15 of 99 Old 11-26-2014, 01:50 PM
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In theory, you could fit a UHD program on a single OTA channel with the same quality that a single 1080i channel has now... if H.265 were allowed (which it isn't).
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post #16 of 99 Old 11-26-2014, 06:48 PM
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Compact Disc-
1986

OTA HDTV-
1996

Hi-Def Disc-
2006

4K Blu-ray-
2015

OTA 4KTV- 2019?

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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post #17 of 99 Old 11-26-2014, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
Satellite transponders are, for the most part capable of 40Mbps. Right now Dish crams in 8 or 9 HDTV channels per transponder for example. But if they wanted to they could reserve a transponder for a single channel*. The big problem is there is more money to be made by maximizing the number of channels than preserving the quality of channels. We are the few, the proud, the enthusiasts. The masses don't really care if an HD channel looks pristine or not. My fear is we'll get 300 2160p channels that all look like crap, due to marketing. 4k being the latest and greatest. It won't really matter that a bit-starved 4k channel will probably look worse than 720p.

*By my math 40 Mbps is around what is needed for 2160p if h.265 really turns out to be double the efficiency of h.264.
We talked with Dish at CES about 4k, they were reluctant to dedicate a transponder for a 4k channel then, we'll see in January ...
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post #18 of 99 Old 11-26-2014, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
Satellite transponders are, for the most part capable of 40Mbps. Right now Dish crams in 8 or 9 HDTV channels per transponder for example. But if they wanted to they could reserve a transponder for a single channel*. The big problem is there is more money to be made by maximizing the number of channels than preserving the quality of channels. We are the few, the proud, the enthusiasts. The masses don't really care if an HD channel looks pristine or not. My fear is we'll get 300 2160p channels that all look like crap, due to marketing. 4k being the latest and greatest. It won't really matter that a bit-starved 4k channel will probably look worse than 720p.

*By my math 40 Mbps is around what is needed for 2160p if h.265 really turns out to be double the efficiency of h.264.
Wrong. Using ancient DVB-S QPSK modulation schemes they are.

Using DVB-S2 32APSK and a symbol rate of 30000 and FEC of 4/5 for example a transponder has 116 Mbps of bandwidth:

And there's already standards that improve upon that even further like DVB-S2X which will be able to do 150+ Mbps per transponder as well as NS-3
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post #19 of 99 Old 11-27-2014, 09:09 AM
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It's hard for me to contemplate 4K right now. We still have networks that broadcast in 480i, much less being broadcast in HD, much less in 1080p throughout the land.
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post #20 of 99 Old 11-27-2014, 10:11 PM
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Pretty sure the first wave of 4k would be very huge.
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post #21 of 99 Old 11-28-2014, 08:08 AM
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Got HD ota and satellite in 2001.Looked great. Now in 2014 for the most part it looks okay to slightly better than SD. Even if 4k comes it will be compresssed .I feel it will not come ota in my lifetime.
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post #22 of 99 Old 11-28-2014, 09:27 AM
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I'll answer this the same way I answered the identical question about HD and 3D: When it becomes financially advantageous to do so, or when it becomes financially disadvantageous NOT to.

I think enough creators and providers got burned with investments into 3D that they'll probably wait 4K out. Cable companies are already juggling bandwidth with SDV, so getting more than 1 or 2 channels of 4K out of them is going to be unlikely in the short run and not without a huge upcharge. I would imagine a lot of systems would need to invest in new equipment right down to the in-home boxes.

In a supply-and-demand economy, you're dealing with a public that thinks 480i on a 1080p set looks just fine. While we AVSers scream about compression artifacts and PQ, the rest of the public simply doesn't care. They're streaming Netflix to an iPad. Blu-Ray did not supplant DVDs the way DVDs vaporized VHS, which is what Sony had hoped for. What's that tell you about the desire for better picture quality? No demand.

So, where's the incentive for broadcasters, cablecasters, DSS, etc? No financial advantage. In a world where people are protesting high prices from cable companies and cutting the cord, I don't see enough of them jumping at the chance to pay MORE to make providers make much of an effort. Even flooding the market with 4K sets won't do it. If the public thinks 480i looks great on an HDTV, they're going to think 1080 looks outstanding on a 4K set. And they'll be quite happy with that.

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post #23 of 99 Old 11-30-2014, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
In theory, you could fit a UHD program on a single OTA channel with the same quality that a single 1080i channel has now... if H.265 were allowed (which it isn't).
Actually, I think the only requirement is that there be at least *one* MPEG2 encoded sub-channel, which theoretically could be a bit starved 480i "main" then you can use the rest of the BW however you wanted. Obviously, this would require new receivers et. al to see the H.265 ... and the public at large might actually notice that their "free OTA TV" suddenly looks like crap again.

In any case, I doubt there will be much stomach for another "transition" between completely incompatible OTA broadcast systems, assuming OTA as we know it still exists by the time the dust settles on UHDTV.
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post #24 of 99 Old 12-01-2014, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
If you're talking about OTA, my guess would be never. People thought 3D would be the "next big thing" to push television sales, and it didn't work. I doubt UHD will do the trick, either, and even if UHD sets become common in the next few years, the current ATSC specification can't handle UHD. Switching to a new version of ATSC would require another "DTV transition", and the government isn't eager to go through all of that again, especially since it hasn't even been ten years since the last switch.
Agree with this 100%. Also, if memory serves, both Verizon and AT&T have stopped laying any new fiber to homes, due to not yet getting their way in the net neutrality battle. That doesn't bode well for the future of 4K.

Let's be honest. Unless you have a theater sized screen, 4K does't really buy you much. For the average consumer, certainly not enough to spend the difference between an HD and 4K TV. Especially when the consumer asks the sales person "so what can I watch that's 4K now?"

4K is a dream electronics manufacturers have to try to sell new TVs. It ain't happening any time soon. And I hope the content producers realize that soon, because working in 4K is a giant pain in the ass for everyone.
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post #25 of 99 Old 12-01-2014, 04:10 PM
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Feedback from my recent HD quality "complaint"

Hello Charles,

Thank you for your observation and question.

The SD subchannels’ bandwidths are at the very minimum to produce watchable picture quality, averaging well under 3 Mb/s. The three streams are also statistically multiplexed with 13.1 WTHR HD given the highest priority so, once the subchannel minimums are met, all available bandwidth is given to 13.1 WTHR HD’s content needs. I’ll pass your comments along for consideration as future content and subchannels are reviewed.

Xx Xxxxxxxxxxx
Director of Engineering & Operations
WTHR NBC 13, WALV-CD 46, MeTV & COZI TV
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post #26 of 99 Old 12-01-2014, 05:04 PM
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Since native 4K content is almost non-existent right now except for a few things on Netflix, what I'm curious about is how much improvement does upscaled HD content provide on a 4K set? Is there a noticeable improvement? Can you even tell? Because that's all these expensive new 4K sets will be doing for the near future.

I've noticed there's not much improvement when 480 content is upscaled to 1080 on an HDTV. While you can "smooth out" the video to an extent, you can't create detail that wasn't there to begin with. It never has looked much better to me than plain ol' 480i/p.
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post #27 of 99 Old 12-01-2014, 05:19 PM
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Even true UHD content isn't that impressive. I've read that the difference between UHD and HD is the difference between sitting in the front row or the back row of a movie theatre, and considering the average TV size most people can fit into their homes, Joe Sixpack isn't going to notice a difference between the two, let alone between HD content and HD content upscaled to UHD.
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post #28 of 99 Old 12-01-2014, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
Even true UHD content isn't that impressive.
I would disagree with that. I've seen native 4K demo material on a smaller (50" or so) Samsung 4K set and it's a startling improvement over typical HD content. It's the honest-to-goodness "window effect" that HD promised but never delivered, probably due to the constant over compression, rate-shaping, bit-starving, etc. that the networks give us.
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post #29 of 99 Old 12-01-2014, 06:00 PM
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The problem/potential I see is... we get overcompressed 4K that is as good or slightly better than the less compressed HD we used to get when HD was first launched. So... 4K would look better than current HD, but only because we are getting what we should have been getting from HD the whole time.

Back when there were only a handful of HD channels on SAT and they were largely given room to breathe, there was some spectacular stuff being broadcast... so I unfortunately expect 4K to look like that, which will be impressive... but not as impressive as it should be.

And as others have already said, bandwidth being what it is... limited... I can't imagine a lot of 4K being given room to breathe... and OTA is basically a non-starter because of how that was rolled out with no provision for future-expansion in the OTA digital broadcast standard.

As for "native" 4K content... anything shot on film will be potential high-quality content candidates just like it was for HD... the only bad stuff will be anyone who switched to a 2K digital HD camera for shooting movies/TV shows now who will be limited in future higher resolution displays in the same way that people who switched over the videotape were hampered once HD came about and there was no film to go back to... it's one of the negatives I foresaw with the HD digital cameras that some wanted to start using... knowing that once we go digital, some might make the choice for now and unfortunately once again leave us with non-future-proofed recordings.

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post #30 of 99 Old 12-01-2014, 06:27 PM
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As for "native" 4K content... anything shot on film will be potential high-quality content candidates just like it was for HD... the only bad stuff will be anyone who switched to a 2K digital HD camera for shooting movies/TV shows now who will be limited in future higher resolution displays in the same way that people who switched over the videotape were hampered once HD came about and there was no film to go back to.
Even movies shot on 4/5/6K digital cameras are sometimes doing their VFX at 2K and uprezzing, because working with 50 layers of 4K data is pretty difficult and very, very SSSLLLOOOOWWWWWW.
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