I was interviewed by SNL as MIPTV and SONY’s 4k presentation was winding down. Here is the post:
4K technology panels peppered the agenda at MIPTV 2015. Invariably at these discussions, someone always draws a comparison between 4K technology and 3-D, a feature widely deemed a failure in the consumer electronic space.
But a fairer comparison, speakers said, was the successful transition from standard definition to high definition.
“I feel like we’ve been through this before. I feel like the transition from SD to HD is most analogous,” XiveTV co-founder Greg Diefenbach, who spoke on a 4K panel at MIPTV, told SNL Kagan.
“I don’t think 3-D is very analogous because 3-D required a behavioral change from the viewer, which turned out to be an enormous behavioral change: wearing the glasses and sitting in a certain place,” Diefenbach said. “It was just too much, and there wasn’t enough motivation to make a behavioral change like that.”
According to Diefenbach, the switch from HD to 4K will likely happen much more easily than even the switch from SD to HD, especially as TV prices continue to drop.
“I think in two years’ time anyone who wants to change their television set is going to be standing in a store and looking at the screen and it is going to look fantastic. And they are going to say you can have the HD screen for $500 or the ultra-HD screen for $625,” he said.
Since most consumers hold onto their TV sets for five to seven years, or maybe even longer, he expects consumers will likely make the switch to 4K then.
Diefenbach, whose company XiveTV operates a mobile and Web streaming, general-interest documentary network, said any filmmaker who wants to make the definitive show on lions and tigers and wants to hold rights that have value for a few years does not really have a choice; they need to make the film in 4K.
Although Diefenbach understands the importance of 4K in his own genre of documentaries, he does not think they will be the main driver of 4K adoption. Like many others, he thinks it will be sports.
“In the traditional television world of cable and terrestrial, sports can push them to do it,” he said. Basically, if one operator has it and others do not, then the first to market with 4K could peel subscribers off of the others.
While Torsten Hoffmann, another 4K panelist at MIPTV, agreed that being first to market with 4K could be a huge game changer, he is not as bullish on the importance of 4K in sports entertainment.
“Sports look good in 4K now, and there might be reasons why it looks better with a higher frame rate. … However, I think it is silly from an economics standpoint because have you ever watched a game after it is done? After you know the result of the football match or whatever the value is zero, so why invest all of that money if the value is just gone like that,” said Hoffmann, who is the CEO of the 4K Content Hub, a German content distributor specialized in stereoscopic 3-D and native 4K titles. “A documentary, however, is as current in three years’ time,” he told SNL Kagan.
Read the rest of the article on the original site here.