Originally Posted by Otto Pylot
Will source material become as readily available in the same time frame or will 8k be just around the corner by that time as well, making 4k obsolete in a short time?
See #1. Cameras doing 4K is going to fall FAST.
- YouTube already supports 4K since 2011
- The first cheap consumer 4K cameras finally arrived; and more in pipeline this year.
- Some cell phone chips already support 4K. The new Omnivison OV16820 chip, for example, supports 4K at 60 frames per second. That's merely a chip for cell phones! Some upcoming phones will have this chip.
- It costs under 10 dollars extra to add 4K playback support to an AppleTV. The 4K-capable playback chips aren't expensive anymore.
- Many chipsets can now playback 4K content. The Intel HD Graphics 4000 in your new cheap mid-range laptop does it.
The 4K capable camera sensors are already arriving. It's not the weak link in the 4K equation. In fact, the chip in some cellphones today already actually has enough processing power for 4K but the cellphone makers does not enable this feature and save just two or three dollars of components because it's not worth it yet.
4K content is just waiting for chicken-and-egg.
Sensor pricing isn't going to be the bottleneck.
Just wait and see.
As for 8K, I think 4K has a decade or two before 8K gives way. The MUSE HD experiments in the 80's gave way to the early digital ATSC in the 90's, and only became popular in the 2000's. Consumer 8K will probably not be till the 2020's, and popular 8K probably not for sometime beyond (2030's, 2040's) due to the very incremental improvement it offers, but 8K will be done anyway once an 8K costs only $50 more than a 4K display (that's same price or cheaper than 1080p because manufacturers stopped manufacturing 1080p when 4K becomes ubiquitous/commonplace/essentially free feature. Just like manufacturers today have almost stopped making 720p). For now, this decade is still focussed on erasing price differential between 1080p and 4K. The 4K price collapse behind the scenes is slowly starting now -- and possibly a little earlier than Sony wanted. Even when 8K arrives, 4K won't become obsolete quickly. 1080p is going to become obsolete only very slowly, 4K even more slowly so.
Yes, the law of diminishing returns apply here, but there's definitely still a quite noticeable benefit for 4K at 10 feet away from a 60" TV when you play low-bitrate streams (remember: macroblock compression artifacts are MUCH bigger than a single pixel) -- the talk of 4K useless beyond a certain distance does not take into account of improvement to appearance of compression artifacts, at least 4K will force content makers to use higher bitrates which is nearly Always A Good Thing (e.g. even 4K @ 20Mbps looks better than 1080p @ 10Mbps for same screen size and view distance. More bitrate per angular vision, baby!). The manufacturers are still going to force 4K on the market, whether we like it or not. I'm happy as long as it helps produce an upwards trend in bitrate (the chief determinator of image quality)