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4K and 8K market position

Last week I attended two of the world largest media & entertainment trade shows: The IFA in Berlin and the IBC in Amsterdam. Even if exhibitors of both shows are part of the same eco system the contrast was striking with regards to their views and strategies on image resolution.

Consumer Electronics manufacturers pushing for customers to replace their TV sets have always been a driving force for change in the broadcast industry. Vendors like Sony and Panasonic that sit on both sides have an even stronger interest to cross leverage their end to end presence. In the past it has led to great successes like HD and 3D that… well did not do that great!

In the IFA halls, 8K TV sets were everywhere and felt as the current state of the art. There was literaly no more 4K! At IBC, except for future tech 8K demos, the core of the broadcast vendors sales pitches were about being 4K ready or resolution agnostic. There were discussions about the slow 4K adoption, the lack of incremental revenue streams to recoupe the tech investements and even questioning the viewers benefits of 4K. As opposed to HD that in conjunction with 16:9 was a key driver for tech investments, 4K feels as a side effect or for some even a distraction in a time with much more fundamental transformations caused by changes in media consumption, the migration to all IP, the emergence of mega streamers and business model challenges.

Never has the gap been that wide between the two glass edges of the media & entertainment industry.

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