The conversations about 4K Ultra HD video and whether or not the technology has staying power include questions such as: Will studios produce 4K content? Will consumers invest in 4K technology? Will manufacturers bring down prices of 4K displays?
They are good questions, but they barely touch on the reasons 4K is far more than a fad. The appeal and demand for 4K Ultra HD video solutions extends far beyond the consumer market. In fact, it is the B2B applications for 4K that will legitimize the technology. Here are four real-world ways in which 4K Ultra HD will be deployed by businesses:
Digital Signage – The digital signage market is worth close to $14 billion, according to research firm IHS, but debate still lingers on how big of a role 4K will play in increasingly omnipresent digital signs. At the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas manufacturers emphasized 4K features in their latest products. When it comes to new video quality formats, there tends to be resistance at the onset. Remember how many people were sluggish about converting to high-definition?
Control Rooms – Those who invest in equipment for command and control rooms will not be waiting for the prices of 4K to come down. Saving money is less important in mission-critical program objectives. In the case of military, law enforcement, government and even utility companies, the focus is on saving or protecting lives, not saving a few dollars. While each control room’s objective is unique, they are generally focused on situational awareness – quickly recognizing an occurrence as displayed on a screen, accessing it and reacting to it. The quality of the video affects how quickly operators are able to recognize and react. So, demand for 4K video solutions in command and control rooms will only increase.
Manufacturing – Image quality is highly valued by manufacturers’ research and development facilities. As product developers become increasingly reliant on digital images to design and render products, they will invest in the highest and most pure pixel resolution. Industries like clothing and automobile manufacturing have always been quick to adopt the latest video formats, so 4K is an obvious choice in the manufacturing sector.
Medical – In the medical world, both in practice and in education, the highest possible video resolution is a must. In medical research, a slight improvement in visibility can make the difference between recognizing and missing an anomaly or pattern within something extremely detailed like the human brain. The medical market perhaps has the most important need f or high-resolution video. The medical market, specifically catheterization and electrophysiology labs, were early adopters of 4K video technology.
Too often 4K is compared to 3D during the “hype versus reality” debate. That, however, is like comparing apples to oranges. 3D has its place – and, indeed, manufacturing and medical applications are also enhanced by 3D capabilities – but in many ways its appeal is more subjective than that of 4K.
4K offers a concrete video quality upgrade. The more appropriate comparison, therefore, is to the way high definition TV was perceived in the 1990s when many consumers and businesses wondered if the upgrade was significant. We all know how that debate ended