I explained in the previous post why promising technologies, surely offering better resolution, have failed to win the market, so far. The returns on revenues, the beacon for any entrepreneurial initiative, is simply insufficient. Older technologies that can still be bettered with limited investment provides better returns.
Clearly, the situation would change if someone would start to invest in this new technologies and hit the market with a better product. But again: what does better means for the market? Unless there is a clear user advantage better just means a lower price. And here proven technologies, benefiting from production process optimization and continuous fine tuning are winning the game.
Providing a clear user advantage in the area of displays means to be able to show content that looks superior on a screen adopting the new technology. Hence, it means to have a content that would look better with a higher resolution display.
Today’s content is targeted to the television broadcasting chain and to the distribution via DVD and Blue Ray Discs, that is with a 2Mpixel resolution.
Moving one step higher, to 4k standard or two steps higher to 8k requires a dramatic change in the overall production and distribution chain.
A 4k 2hour movie requires over 100 GB (closer to 200 GB actually) of storage space, it won’t fit on a Blue Ray disc (it may take up to 4 BR disc to store it). An 8k 2 hour movie would require close to 1TB of storage (or 20 BR discs!). Whilst we have today several 4k video cameras (the 4k is used in professional digital movie making) used by professionals and we can expect mass market 4k video cameras in the next decade, we do not have, and will likely not have for the next 10 years, 8k cameras. May be beyond 2020 we will start to see the first 8k cameras and movie production.
It is likely that users will favour an evolution towards immersive 3D (and be willing to pay for it) well before being willing to go for the 8k.
The 4k is somewhere in between. My pick is that we are going to see an increase of interest in the 4k area, thanks to the convergence of video cameras on digital still cameras. Here the 4k is already a reality (in terms of still image, since this correspond to an 8 Mpixel sensor) and it would just take an evolutionary step to move from current HD to 4k Mind you, I am not saying this is an easy one: it requires the availability of a much faster digital processor (10 times the present one), a much bigger storage capacity (in the order of 1 TB) but these requirements are likely to be met early in the next decade.