Forget HDTV – UHDTV will be the next big thing

With Blu-Ray slowly taking it’s place in the digital video market as the preferred digital versatile disc medium due to it’s superior storage capacity and audio and visual quality over run of the mill DVDs the current “in” technology are HD television sets.

With more and more public and private broadcasters in various countries around the world switching off their analogue signals and purely broadcasting digital signals they’re fast becoming the norm. Never mind the on-going battle between technology experts about which HDTV display is better, Plasma or LCD (oh and let’s not forget OLED displays too).

If that wasn’t enough to confuse most people – there’s something “new” on the horizon. Ultra High Definition Televisions or UHDTV (also known as Super Hi-Vision). I say “new” since it’s not really new but just not very well known, yet. Japan Broadcast Corporation (NHK) already demonstrated this technology back in 2005 at the World Exposition in Aichi, Japan.

I’ve been into technology and it’s awesomeness as far back as I can remember but being a parent, having a mortgage and working as a software developer (who doesn’t work for the government) sometimes, okay most times, cost comes into the equation and usually overrides the wow factor. I have some decent audio visual equipment but neither Blu-Ray players nor a HDTV (yet) or satellite television (yet).

Okay so give it up – more info on the UHDTV already!

Well, Ultra, it definitely is. To put it into perspective. Current HDTV is broadcast in a 1920×1080 resolution whereas UHDTV will be broadcast in a resolution of 7680×4320. What? Okay, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here goes. The turquoise rectangle is the current HDTV resolution and the big blue outer rectangle is the UHDTV resolution. Click on the image for a higher resolution version.

UDTVComparison

Get the picture? That’s seriously huge! But it’ll be a few years before this becomes commercially available and viable. Possibly in the next 7 to 12 years. Along with an amazing high resolution image you’ll also get superb 22.2 multichannel surround sound. You read that correctly, 22 satellite speakers and 2 sub-woofers. Huh? Where do all those speakers go? Well in a configuration as follows:

  • 9 speakers above ear level
  • 10 speakers at ear level
  • 5 speakers below ear level

I guess we’ll need a bigger lounge then.

You can find out more in the various links in the post above or here. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up of this article on Hot Hardware.

Below is a short video about Super Hi-Vision/UHDTV from IBC Channel News.

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