At this year’s NAB 2014 in Las Vegas, the exhibitors presented more 4k-equipment. This equipment is standardized in accordance with the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) Consortium at a resolution of 4096 pixels per line x 2160 lines, thus doubling the specifications of its predecessor, DCI 2k.
DCI 4k has 8 847 360 pixels (each one consisting of a red, a green and a blue fraction) but this differs from the ultra HD TV format, which has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 and displays only 8 294 400 pixels. To further add to the confusion other systems of high-resolution equipment for cinema and TV technology exist but they all share a characteristic with DCI 4k, namely that you can only benefit from a better resolution if you are the right distance from the screen or display. The human eye can hardly differentiate between Ultra HD and current HDTV (resolution: 1920 x 1080) on a 40 inch display if further than one metre away. "If we enlarge this example, this probably means that only the front rows of a cinema audience will benefit from the sharper image of a 4k movie”, asserts cinec manager Angelika Albrecht. Hollywood feels however that a cinema fills up from the back and therefore rejects 4k technology although for new 3D movies, 4k would seem to be a must.
4k technology also needs a better network system as there is more data to be transferred. Gordon Smith, NAB President and CEO, referred to the connection between transmitter and wire in his opening speech in Las Vegas: "Throughout the marketplace, we are beginning to see the incredible power of the convergence between broadcasting and broadband.” For Smith broadband is nothing less than a “Game-changer”. It is in the nick of time that the German government has attached importance to this topic and wants to provide Broadband access nationwide or in at least 75 % of the households.
But the fundamental and compelling question is when are there going to be enough original content in adequate quality to make appropriate investments profitable?
The world of cinema is changing and we need to set the course for the way ahead. The specialized trade fair “cinec”, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary provides the framework for this. In addition to the cineCongress which will include exciting seminars and discussions for professionals of the industry, the glamorous ceremony of the cinecAward will form the social highlight of this Septembers’ event. The association Cine Technik Bayern e.V. (CTB) will once again award the prize for pioneering and innovative achievements in the different areas of film and television technology.