Posted on: April 11, 2016
4K displays have gone mainstream because they do 1080p so well. Most notably, 4K displays offer great opportunities in visual clarity, but place equal challenges on the ecosystem surrounding them – from content production, through playback/rendering, to actually getting the 4K signal to displays.
Today, retailers, corporations, educational / health institutions, and transportation hub operators looking to deploy a signage network are all interested in the 4K opportunity but as many know (or find out), there is more to “4K” than pixel counts on a display. One needs to generate and distribute 4K content – preferably at 60 frames/second and high color depth through compatible signal distribution & cabling to (of course) a display that is optimized for or at least supports the format. Getting THAT to happen can sometimes be more complicated than it appears:
Connectivity – display manufacturers already offer 4K displays but most still rely on HDMI 1.4 to receive 4K at 30 frames per second (“2160p/30” or “4K/30”). This taxes motion, especially in larger displays and video walls showing fast, moving content.
Distribution and extension of 4K/60fps is still in its infancy. Commercially viable signal distribution is finally catching up and is in many ways still limited to 30Hz and 4:2:0 color encoding, further challenging early adopters. Recent and upcoming IP and point-to-point offerings are finally catching up but rely on modern network & cabling infrastructure.
Content – perhaps the greatest challenge which causes many 4K installations to never see 4K content is worth elaborating on:
At this point some readers might be thinking “If this is so difficult, why bother? Are there any benefits to using 4K in digital signage?” The short answer is most definitely yes and here’s why:
And this is just a few of the benefits of opting for a 4K digital signage solution, there are many more. Tell us about your challenges and benefits to implementing 4K in the Digital Signage space below!