4K: It’s one of the biggest technology buzz words of 2014, and it’s expected to play a big role in the future of pro AV. As momentum around 4K continues to build, most experts agree that the technology is here to stay. So now is the time for value-added resellers (VARs) who work in the pro AV arena to become 4K savvy.
With 4K devices becoming increasingly popular over the next several years, are you ready to incorporate them into your product offering? To get ahead of the 4K boom, first you need to understand the technology and how it relates to pro AV and digital signage.
What is 4K?
Despite its seemingly abstract name, 4K technology is actually pretty simple to grasp. 4K refers to the resolution—specifically, the number of pixels. 4K devices boast about four times as many pixels as other leading technology. The result is an image that is up to four times crisper than that offered by 1080p screens, which were previously the gold standard for HD.
How does it relate to pro AV and digital signage?
The advent of 4K resolution will have a big impact on pro AV and digital signage—although maybe not as much as HD did over standard definition displays years ago. 4K is simply the next evolution in ultra-crisp displays. As the technology becomes more mainstream, it will serve many of your customers well in a variety of devices.
4K digital signage is already growing rapidly. For example, 4K is perfect for video walls, where high resolution is important to create a clear, super-sized image.
Of course, smaller-scale 4K digital signage will also continue to grow in popularity, especially as the prices slowly fall. Expect to see more interest in 4K among higher-end retailers and hospitality and event venues: really, any environment that is a bit more form over function.
In addition, 4K projectors are likely to become mainstream, especially as lampless devices finally overtake traditional lamp projectors thanks to advances in laser technology. 4K projectors will be a good fit for customers in the event, hospitality and enterprise business worlds.
Where is 4K headed?
4K displays are poised to really catch on in 2015, especially in retail, hospitality and entertainment environments. 4K screens, media players and projectors are starting to come down in price, so keep the technology in mind for any customers who require ultra-high-definition.
It’s important to note, however, that some end users are currently having trouble sourcing enough 4K content to truly make their investment worthwhile. It’s true that there is a shortage of high-quality 4K content available. In 2015, we expect the supply to catch up to demand; that’s when 4K will truly take off.
Of course, many in the pro AV industry are quick to point out that the next big resolution revolution—known as 8K—is only a few years down the road. However, at this point, 8K is very expensive, making it impractical for most pro AV installations. Of course, progress is inevitable, so expect 8K to start entering the conversation more once 4K has really caught on.
Do you plan to incorporate 4K devices into your product offering? If so, what types of customers do you expect to be most interested in its higher resolution?