GigaOM - How to Turn a $20,000 Ultra HDTV into a Mass-Market Product

09 Jan 2013

By Dr. Sean McCarthy, Technical Fellow at Motorola Mobility, Inc.

HDTV has already evolved from a luxury to a now-ubiquitous item in households everywhere. While there's still plenty to love about high definition video, as always consumers are in constant pursuit of an ever clearer, crisper picture.

This next generation of video is dubbed Ultra HDTV, and it will offer consumers an incredibly compelling experience - four times the resolution of today's HDTV, unfathomable contrast, and mind-blowing, life-like picture quality. Imagine not being able to tell the difference between your TV's picture and looking out your window? Simply put, Ultra HD does to HDTV what color programming did to the black-and-white TV.

Because we witnessed the widespread adoption of HDTV followed by the stark lack of penetration of 3DTV, we know that consumer embrace of technological advancements like this are hardly a given. So what will it take for the general public to get behind Ultra HD?

Behind the screen 

Price, availability, engaging (and accessible) programming and the selection of devices are certainly important factors in the potential success of Ultra HD, but one crucial component often gets overlooked: the video-processing technology behind these incredible innovations. It's a bit of a chicken-and-egg dilemma for the TV world.

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