Originally Posted by Cheddarhead
4K streaming of movies and the like is here today, 4K streaming of sports is entirely another thing.
- Problem 1:the production chain at the games needs to be upgraded to handle 4K data, from the cameras to the production truck.
- Problem 2: the real-time processing of the data stream. I can stream a 4K movie on my DSL with no issues but even streaming a 1080P hockey game challenges my bandwidth with frequent buffering. It seems that the live sports stream is not as optimized as the movie or TV stream. Until they solve this 4K streaming of
The production chain for network games (not the small trucks doing backhaul pickups to the visiting city) is already more or less 4K capable. No big time truck doing network feeds uses anything but 4K-ready fiber feeds from cameras and the booth to the truck. From there it goes to the satellites, where the first round of compression (of many) is added. It's a matter of investing the money to upgrade everything to 4K. Almost all TV episodics (hour long series) shoot and edit in 4K or higher, have for several years now.
I agree that right now, the will isn't there because there's no point in shooting in 4K when the feed ends up mostly OTA or on cable, where the requirements are 1080 or 720 for now. But the same was said of HD in 2000 when the first HD camcorder shipped from Sony (the F900), and while the ramp-up was relatively slow, once it got moving the HD transition was breathtakingly fast right across the entertainment spectrum. I was spending big money on HD gear in 2003, at least two years before I thought I would have to do so. 4K will be similar, although I don't see the OTA stations rushing into it - they're still making payments on their HD upgrades.
Most 4K sporting events are currently trial runs for later analysis by both the people supplying the trucks and the networks.
The data stream processing is improving by leaps and bounds. Games like hockey and basketball, where the action is fast and furious, need a lot more processing and bigger bandwidth, but I would be surprised if the relatively low data rates of DSL will ever be able to accommodate those sports in 4K without a ton of compression being applied.
And in case people missed it, Frys is selling 8K Samsung sets right now
. I'm so glad I've mostly retired and don't have to concern myself with that insanity (from the production end) any longer.