Sony: The 4K video revolution is at tipping point
Sony is taking a brave gamble on the future of home entertainment technology by releasing its VPL-VW1000ES 4K projector before there's native content to view on it.
Sure, you get a code for the 4K version of PlayStation 3 image software PlayMemories with every purchase of the £17,000 behemoth, and its Reality Creation 1080p upscaling prowess is simply mind-blowing, but there's not much in the way of 4096 x 2160 video for it to project.
So, in an effort to encourage the next stage in the evolution of home video quality, the company has decided to get its technology on the shelves before content is widely available. It is hoped that this move will prompt studios to look at ways to get its 4K movies into the hands of consumers.
"4K is rapidly gaining momentum in the distribution community, as evidenced by releases from studios such as Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures. So while many people complain about the lack of content, it can’t be made without the technology and it can’t be seen in the home without this technology," Sony told Pocket-lint exclusively in a one-to-one chat.
"It’s not just something we talk about; the camera’s there, the projector's there. We’re ready to go."
Even massive movie blockbusters are being currently created in UHD (Ultra High Definition). "Sony Pictures is behind The Amazing Spider-Man, which is in 4K," Sony said.
"And M. Night Shyamalan is using Sony F65s to film his next project [After Earth], so it’s getting there. It’s at the tipping point now. It’s a really interesting time for 4K."
Sony Europe's own home cinema expert and product technical specialist Kin Loong Chit agrees, but also emphasises that it's not the lack of content per se, but how to get it into the home that's the biggest issue. "Shooting-wise, there is a lot out there already, it’s just delivery," he told us.
"Delivery is the most important thing at the moment, because there is no way to deliver 4K [to the home]. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [David Fincher's English-language version] was shot in 4K, and The Hobbit, but how do we deliver? A home server? A BD disc player? Only then will it be possible."
But Sony does believe that there is plenty of interest out there for the next generation of high definition video. And definitely more so than with 3D.
"With 3D, there seemed to be a lot of divided opinion," we were told. "But with 4K it’s just positive."
And from our extensive viewing experience of the VPL-VW1000ES, we have to say we thoroughly agree.
What would it take to convince you to adopt 4K? Let us know in the comments below...