HARD ON THE POCKET

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - COVER STORY -

E very­thing is avail­able on HD now. We are able to watch HD movies and even the DTH op­er­a­tors are in­creas­ingly adding HD chan­nels to their pack­ages. There are HD Videos on YouTube too. But we still of­ten have to pay ex­tra for ac­cess­ing HD con­tent. For ex­am­ple, the chan­nel Star World Pre­mier HD – ev­ery DTH op­er­a­tor charges ex­tra for it as it is not part of the HD pack­age or even the an­nual mega plan. Also, those ac­cess­ing HD ser­vices have to shell out more for their set-top boxes and ac­cess to the ser­vice.

HD CON­TENT CRE­ATION: With HD con­tent be­ing streamed reg­u­larly on our TVs, to­day most cam­eras, both stand alone and those part of smart­phones, can shoot videos with full HD res­o­lu­tion. The con­tent cap­tured by th­ese de­vices can be streamed to the TV or lap­top by con­nect­ing it through MHL or wire­lessly through apps.

AND NOW FOR 4K…

Why are we talk­ing about HD ad­dic­tion at a time when the world is mov­ing on to 4k res­o­lu­tion?

Also re­ferred as Ul­tra HD or 4k Ul­tra HD, this has res­o­lu­tion of 4096 x 2160 pix­els. How­ever, to get this high res­o­lu­tion im­age on the nor­mal 16:9 pic­ture for­mat for our TVs, it has re­duced to 3840 x 2160. This is still four times the num­ber of pix­els on a HD.

LG, Sam­sung and Sony all launched 4K TVs in In­dia last year, but they were ex­pen­sive. This year, all the big flat panel TV play­ers have an­nounced 4k TVs, which will reach the mar­ket in the sec­ond half. But where is the 4k con­tent? It is not read­ily avail­able. It makes sense to wait a cou­ple of years to buy a 4K TV as by then, this tech­nol­ogy may well be­come more af­ford­able and there will be more con­tent in the 4K for­mat too. Still, if you buy one to­day, there are some good movie ti­tles avail­able on 4K which you can watch. Also con­sider 4k up­scal­ing. Some TV man­u­fac­tur­ers are adding top chips in their high-end 4K TVs that dy­nam­i­cally ad­dress the lo­cal im­age data­base in or­der to in­ter­po­late the ex­tra data needed for the 3840x2160 pic­ture. It means that you can en­joy the ben­e­fits of in­creased res­o­lu­tion which the 4K TV pro­vides, even if the na­tive con­tent is only full HD.

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