4K To Be Renamed This Week
By: Andrew Robinson, October 15, 2012 for HomeTheaterReview.com
Last week, I wrote an article entitled “HD We Hardly Knew Ye“, which detailed how consumers are not only not getting true 4K, but in fact have yet to see true HD via their HDTVs. Well, what a difference a week can make, for it seems that the powers that be – representatives from all the major display manufacturers, as well as individuals from the CE space – have also noticed a few holes in their proverbial 4K buckets. This is why this Tuesday, as in tomorrow, a meeting is being held in San Francisco to decide the fate of 4K going forward, at least with regards to its implementation inside the consumer marketplace. The topics open for discussion include renaming consumer 4K as something completely different. Why?
Years ago, the display manufacturers were dragged into a class action lawsuit over misrepresentation of some of their displays’ diagonal sizes. For instance, many manufacturers started making 16.6- or 22.6-inch displays but marketed them as 17- or 23-inch HDTV displays. 22.6 inches is not 23 inches, hence the lawsuit. Fearing another class action lawsuit over the term 4K and their respective displays’ lack of 4,000 actual horizontal pixels, they’re simply going to rename the format. They’re also planning on coming up with a new term for the format because internal studies have shown them that no one knows just what the hell 4K even is. According to sources, a recent survey showed that more consumers thought the term “4K” was in reference to a marathon or long-distance running event, rather than a display possessing four times the resolution of HD. Additionally, because the fledgling consumer 4K format has had little success differentiating itself from our current HD, they feel it’s best not to re-invent the wheel; instead, they want to try and trade upon HD’s success.
So what are they going to call it? Rumor has it that the front runner in this discussion is UltraHD. Other names that have been tossed around include QFHD (which is a real resolution) and 4KHD, but it is the opinion of those inside this select group that, like Blu-ray, the name needs to be unique and non-technical-sounding in order for the format to gain any momentum and/or traction. We should know more by Wednesday. Suffice to say that the next consumer video format won’t be 4K, in more ways than one.
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