Make way for Ultra HD! Why 3D television is dead
I remember just a few years ago everyone going on about 3D television, and now it barely gets a mention in the technology news or blogs I read. “Everyone has finally accepted that 3D TV is dead”, according to BBC North controller Mark Harrison (reporting in Broadcast). It will continue to exist in the cinema and gaming world, but as far as you and me in our living rooms go, 3D is making way for Ultra HD now.
UHD television (once known as 4K) will have a minimum resolution of 3840 x 2160 and can offer unprecedented picture clarity. To put it another way, it will produce images with four times the number of pixels than conventional HD. So how close are we to UHD? Well the BBC has announced that it will produce the first wildlife documentary series to be filmed in 4k resolution, Survival . Even more exciting for me, The Amazing Spiderman is being re-mastered in UHD. The only small problem is the lack of UHD televisions available for mere mortals like you and me to watch this content on though. The only UHD TV on the market in the UK at the time I’m writing this is an 84 inch one being sold in Harrods for a snip at £25k. Is it really worth the price? Geoffrey Morrisson writing for CNET says no. In fact he goes as far as to say it’s stupid and while he accepts its inevitability, he launches quite a scathing summary of the new technology. For one thing, he argues that the accepted “normal” vision is 20/20 which basically means that UHD is wasted on us humans who won’t really see the benefit of this increased resolution.
The point I’m left pondering is more that who on earth is going to want an 84-inch TV in their living room, and so what if they can sit up close and personal with it? The thought of watching an 80 inch Iggle Piggle is frankly terrifying (only those who have been exposed to Cbeebies will understand that). No – I think I’d rather save more of my wall space for Luca’s paintings and family photos.
If you’ve got a spare 3 and a half minutes you might be interested in this film from Click, which inspired this post: