The number of booths sporting an Ultra-HD logo at IBC will be legion, despite the fact that 4K content likely to remain niche for at least a year if not two.
The chief benefit in investing in a 4K kit today lies in working with the highest quality digital image in order to derive benefits in post production or to establish a library of content ready to go when Ultra-HD services fly.
"We know that 90 per cent of filmmakers are hitting the record button on HD today and will be for the next year or two," says
Broadcasters such as
For features, 4K or above provides oversampled images for cinematographers to pull out colour, pull out greater detail from blacks or to zoom into the picture or reframe.
"It gives us 20 per cent headroom – or 3 million spare pixels – to play with, so that motion tracking, digital set extension, stabilisation and compositing can all be done without ever having to blow up the picture," explains facility co-founder
The cost of storage and processing power when post producing with data four times that of HD, plus the lack of demand for 4K deliverables, means that even if projects are acquired 4K or above they are likely to be finished in 2K.
GPUs are the main engines of 4K, used to power displays and graphics. "Moving to a GPU-accelerated workflow is really the only way to generate the performance required of 4K," comments
Software vendors are integrating GPUs to facilitate this. Those using
Its biggest rival is AMD. "We are nine months ahead of them in technology," claims marketing manager,
AMD's FirePro GPUs support Display Port 1.2 which is required to work with native 4K over just a single cable: "All GPU developers are only limited by the O/S which sometimes merely scales up the hardware's output, rather than outputting native 4K resolution," says Jamieson.
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