Originally Posted by jbwhite99
4K is a solution in search of a problem.
The human visual system can resolve detail at around 0.6 arcminute per line pair. That's an excellent eyeball in excellent conditions. Now I'll grant that looking at a light source (which is what a TV really is) is pretty good conditions. So... do the math (and you thought you'd never need that high school trigonometry!).
Turns out that most people don't sit close enough to their TVs to get the benefit from increasing resolution from 720 to 1080. If they are getting the full benefit of 1080, asking them to move to 4k, while keeping everything else the same, is asking them to cut the distance between their seat and the TV in half. If they don't, there's little point to the increased resolution. Think about that -- would you move your seating position that close to your TV? I wouldn't.
Same exact thing applies in theaters. Sony has done the research and published a white paper on it (which I can't find the link for when I need it, of course). Basically, they concluded that even in a modern (stadium seating) theater, you had to be sitting in the first few rows to get the benefit from 4K. The farther you get from the screen, the less detail you can resolve. If you are sitting mid front to middle, 2K is all you resolve. Middle to mid-back, 1080. Mid-back to the back row, 720.
And this is why nearly all the DCPs going to your local theaters are 2K. Just because they've got that fancy 4K Sony projector doesn't mean they are showing you a 4K movie. Nearly all of them are projecting just 2K. And most of the films not captured using Red cameras are actually captured at less than 3K. Skyfall
was mostly shot on Arri cameras at 2.7K, and was a sharp and clean on the screen as anything I've ever seen, including the parts of The Dark Knight
which were shot on 65mm film, the highest resolution media available (think 8K+).
Like I said, 4K is a solution in search of a problem.