The 4K Myth

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  chanan averbuch 6 years, 6 months ago.

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    HDBaseT Alliance
    HDBaseT Alliance

    True or False?  To transmit 4K resolution, you must have 18 Gbps bandwidth available.

    Neither. It depends.

    There is no question that 4K is a hot topic, and everyone is either a. talking about it; b. worrying about it; or c; both.

    Most of the content out there today is not 4K yet, but I believe that slowly most content producers will migrate to 4K.  The question is, which 4K?  Because 4K is not monochromatic (excuse the pun), as 4K is determined not only by the number of pixels (eight million), but also frames per seconds (fps), color bit depth, and chroma subsampling.

    All these factors give us a range of “4K options”, from “full 4K” to “compromise 4K”, and are based on the biological fact that the human eye cannot detect as many details as we would like it to, so we can compromise on color, for example, without discernible results.

    At the moment, most content (1080i/p/720p) is produced at 4:2:0 subsampling, for example, and some experts contend that there is no reason to go any better than that, including for 4K, because no one will be able to tell the difference.

    In that case, you do not need 18 Gbps to transmit 4K, but only 10G. Bottom line: we can offer our customers 4K infrastructure rather immediately.

    As for the content, that’s beyond our power.

    Have you come across this issue during your day-to-day professional lives?


    I think we will know that answer in another year? Manufacturers want to sell their video displays before standards are finalized, I think SMPTE & NTSC will have additional input as well as independent shoot outs in the coming year. Source material and ways to distribute other than internal upscaling?


    HDBaseT Alliance
    HDBaseT Alliance

    Yes, only time will tell.  But we are not even seeing announcements of future 4K content, and which format that will be…

    HDBaseT Alliance
    HDBaseT Alliance

    Take a look at the blog post giving a more in-depth explanation of this issue – " target="_blank">


    When 4K doesn’t have an clear content and format, several manufacturers have produced 8K products. Who knows what standard it is. But, we are still happy to see 4K technology is becoming more and more mature, rather in display or in signal management.


    I just replaced a 61″ Sony XBR plasma (for a client) that retailed for $16,000 10 years ago, totally analog video and audio formats. Movie & TV producers have shot 4K and even 5K video formats for a few years now. We as an industry are barely on the same page.

    Manufacturers are of course pushing 4K, they need something to circumvent the 3-D fiasco. I can’t, in good conscience, recommend a client to purchase a 4K set. I’m leaving money on the table, but 1 or 2 years down the road, they will be either thanking me, or kicking themselves in the behind for not listening.

    I remember when Sam Runco developed the first line doubler, tripler and quad for consumer use, prior to video scalers 20 years ago. A $10,000 doubler is of course a boat anchor now. That 61″ Sony still has a picture, but the processor is a boat anchor (720P).

    We as an industry, are screwing up the boat again in recommending clients purchase the ‘cart before the horse’


    Firstly, Since the delta of 4K-FHD display tech costs are quickly disappearing the debate will soon be irrelevant. To defend the display side of things, it always comes down to application. For high end signage viewed in close proximity, 4K is very valuable when you have custom content anyways. In control rooms and broadcast, many new projects want to be future proof and 4k has become the natural path. Does anyone disagree? The vast majority of our designers and customers want 4k over HdbaseT to simplify the design and reduce costs of hardware / labor. This is the same trend we saw with HdbaseT embedded video walls, initially haters said why do we need it?

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