A sporting chance for ultra high definition

A sporting chance for ultra high definition

Ultra-high (sometimes referred to as 4K) definition is four times greater than current high-definition TV and, although the technology has created waves since the first UHDTVs were showcased at CES in 2012, a lack of available 4K content, combined with the largely prohibitive price of 4K-compatible TVs, will continue to prove an obstacle to widespread adoption.

LG, Samsung and Sony all currently sell UHD TVs with price tickets ranging from $20,000 to $40,000, but there is still very little in terms of native content available for these gargantuan TV sets. In January, Eutelsat launched the world's first UHD TV channel but the company was equally quick to highlight that it was for experimental and testing purposes and much of the programming would be equally experimental. In the same month, Sony announced that it was going to bundle a 4K set-top box with its UHD TVs so that early adopters could access a number of films and music videos in this higher resolution. However, the new announcement by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications aiming for a 2014 launch shows that adoption and deployment of the technology is moving ahead of schedule. Initially it was believed that large-scale broadcasting in the format would not begin until 2016 due to the bandwidth required to transmit such large amounts of data.

Even so, July 2014 is still more than one year in the future and so for now, early adopters of the TV sets will have to make do with their display's ability to upscale and resize lowly HD content. It is also worth pointing out that first-class return flights to Brazil, accommodation plus tickets to the World Cup final would probably be cheaper than buying one of the current crop of UHD TVs.