It was not so long ago that we had to exchange our old box televisions for flat-screens. And then there were the endless upgrades to high definition and screens that could show 3D images. But it seems it could all have be in vain as the technology is already out of date through the arrival of the 4K picture.
The ultra-high quality definition is four times as sharp as standard quality high definition and is close to that viewed only in an Imax cinema. However, for those wishing to view the latest picture in their own living room, they must have plenty of room available for the 84inch screen and plenty of spare cash. Sony has brought out a model that is more than 7ft wide and can play the new technology. Costing £25,000, only Harrods in central London currently sells the television.
The giant screen can convert ordinary television into 3D, and comes with five pairs of glasses for viewing the pin-sharp images. Even without 3D, the ultra-high definition images are 16 times sharper than those on a normal television.
Experts say the television’s picture is so technologically advanced that few broadcasters can yet take advantage of its full potential.
It may also solve family arguments. The screen is so large that it can be split, allowing viewers to watch two movies at once – and it has voice-activated and motion controls, putting an end to fruitless searches for the remote.
Those preferring something more discreet might wish to wait for the 65-inch version or even the dinky 55-inch, which will be in the shops this summer.
The emergence of 4K comes as the BBC is preparing to film it’s next meerkat natural history programme using the new technology. The series, being made by the BBC’s Natural History Unit in Bristol, will show how animals go through the same basic life stages as humans. ‘We are looking at six ages of man as seen through animal lives,’ Mike Gunton, creative director of the NHU, told The Independent. ‘It’s looking at the trials and tribulations that animals face at different stages of their lives and how different species have different solutions – from birth, to growing up, to adolescence, to finding their first home, to finding their place in the social hierarchy, to getting a mate and finally having offspring of their own. ‘There’s a new reality which those images give. I think it makes the images more engaging. You feel you can almost touch them and get into the heads of the animals.’