4K TVs on display at the Samsung booth during International CES 2014.
4K Ultra HD is breathtaking and by far a huge technological leap for video and that means new display sales and everything that goes along with it in the custom world. Do you know the questions to ask and the answers to have to keep you and your company out of the doghouse?
With 4K lots of new challenges come along as we know HDMI has not exactly been the installer’s friend in the past unless you really, really bill 100 percent time and materials and your clients don’t mind paying you to figure out some new technology. So let’s look at HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 and what these two things mean to the installers dream client: the early adopter.
We are seeing products that claim they are “4K Ready” yet HDCP 2.2 chipsets have not been released yet for things like extending HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2. So how do you keep yourself and your company out of trouble?
First, start with the display and see if the display manufacturer has any fine print on the spec sheet or website and if the spec sheet simply gives a semi-general answer but won’t tell you the version of HDMI or HDCP (look for HDMI or HDCP compliant but no real version spec listed).
We are seeing high dollar home theater processors and receivers that only have a single 4K input with the rest of the inputs only handling up to 1080p since HDCP 2.2 chips are not available yet.
Next, look at delivering 4K to the display.
Are you using just HDMI cables or extending with a balun or extender? To this point nobody has built any sort of balun, matrix, or extender that has HDCP 2.2 or HDMI 2.0 in it, so while a couple extenders on the market might be able to get 4K at 24hz a short distance, your content will be limited to your clients 4K camcorder or photos from a computer graphics card.
Nobody in Hollywood is going to release any 4K content without the highest-level copy protection. Anyone who thinks that’s going to happen can gas up my Tesla and detail it for me too.
Sources are the other trick. Today you have a couple options of content. A server-based media box with long download times, a few online services that have a handful of movies and a couple displays with a few movies being served up by DirecTV but zero live content like we are all hoping to have. Me, personally, I’d love to get a native 1080p cable box and see live broadcast content at 1080p.
The Cutting Edge is The Bleeding Edge and how many Band-Aids will 4K require? Does your company have all the answers for your clients? Do your suppliers have the answers for your company? In a world of Deep Color, you need black and white facts.
Taft Stricklin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the sales team manager for Just Add Power.