Much as it is in the world of smartphones, the TV industry is on an endless search for the the next big thing. For a while, some assumed that 3D TV would be the next big feature that would catalyze TV sales. 3D TV, though, never quite gained any traction in the market place, in part because the feature required users to wear clunky glasses and also because the value of proposition of the 3D viewing experience was marginal at best.
So in comes 4K. For those who are unfamiliar, 4K quality content offers vastly superior resolution than 1080p and is truly something one has to see in person to fully appreciate. As an avid TV watcher myself, I think it's fair to say that the value proposition in jumping from 1080p to 4K is as stark as it was going from standard definition to HD 720p back in the day.
Having said that, there isn't much 4K content out there at the moment, but a recent announcement from DirecTV is poised to change that.
Last week, the satellite TV provider announced that it will begin offering 4K content on demand to users with 4K-equipped Samsung sets. It's curious that the service requires a Samsung set, but that's apparently the requirement.
The press release reads in part:
DIRECTV will begin offering a variety of new releases, popular films and nature documentaries in 4K, the industry's best picture quality that features life-like clarity with nearly four times the resolution of HD. DIRECTV has teamed up with Samsung, the leading brand in UHD TVs, as its exclusive CE 4K UHD launch partner. Customers who have DIRECTVs Genie HD DVR will be able to watch 4K programming on supporting 2014 Samsung UHD TVs.
Some of the movies available in 4K at launch include Forrest Gump, Star Trek (2009), and Amistad.
This is certainly exciting news, even though only Samsung owners will be able to take advantage of the 4K content. Still, it's a promising sign that the 4K revolution is finally getting underway.
On a related note, remember that Netflix now offers 4K streaming as a premium service which requires a $11.99/month plan and 25Mbps of download speed.