4K Ultra HD: What Else Besides TV?
If you take a close look at the current narrative about HD TVs, it is predominantly about 4K ultra HD TVs. Even though LG and Sony had launched their 4K TV versions well back last year, the CES 2013 was a watershed event in bringing Ultra HD TVs squarely to the fore.
A casual observer will feel that 4K resolution is an absolutely novel format, first introduced in 4K TVs – and they cannot be obviously faulted for that. The high decibel marketing campaigns by TV makers, augmented by extensive media coverage would be responsible for that impression. However, the fact remains that 4K has been around for some time, and can be found in devices other than Ultra HD TVs too.
This may sound like a cinch, but the ability to shoot pictures and videos in 4K has been around for many years. Initially limited to expensive movie cameras, 4K resolution shooting ability has also been added to top end professional DSLRs like Canon EOS – 1D C and Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
In the field of displays, the 4K TVs are the new kid on the block, 4K monitors have been around for much, much longer. For example, the IBM T220/221 monitor, introduced in 2001, was probably the first commercially available display to support 4K resolution. Almost all major display makers – LG, Sony, ViewSonic, Toshiba, and Sharp – make and market 4K monitors.
4K projectors are mostly used in movie theaters, though Sony has introduced a 4K projector for home theater application in 2012. The Sony 4K home theater 4k projector has, obviously, the ability to upscale natively 1080p content, and can also display active 3D images.
In CES 2012, Panasonic had unveiled a 20 inch alpha IPS panel that packed in 4K resolution, and the company seems to have adapted it to a Windows 8 based tablet that it displayed in CES 2013. After TV, the tablet segment will probably see a lot of action in 4K resolution displays.