Understanding 4K or Ultra HD - Comprehensive Connectivity Company

Understanding 4K or Ultra HD - Comprehensive Connectivity Company

Understanding 4K or Ultra HD What is 4k? 4k is the next step in higher resolutions, the immediate step right after 1080p/60fps. One of the first quest...

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Understanding 4K or Ultra HD What is 4k? 4k is the next step in higher resolutions, the immediate step right after 1080p/60fps. One of the first questions you will likely hear is, “What’s the difference between 4K and UHD (Ultra High Definition)?” The answer is – nothing. They are two terms that mean the same thing, and if no one points that out it can become very confusing to the individual you are speaking with about resolutions. Currently, 4K or UHD is the highest resolution out there with a display of 8 million pixels and it doubles the resolution of 1080p to 2160p. The obvious question is - does that make a difference in what I am viewing? Yes, it does. As you get closer to a display at 1080p, you can start to see the pixilation. Also on a larger display, you can still see the same amount of pixels. So, a larger display does not necessarily mean a clearer or crisper look - it’s actually the opposite. Your viewing angle increases as well with 4K, since it will be a closer gathering of pixels and there is a smaller gap between each one - which is what effectively tightens your viewing angles. The main benefits are:  Higher Resolution 2160P  Tighter Video Rendering  Crisper Viewing  Increased Viewing Angles  Extremely reduced Pixilation, even up close 4K or UHD has nothing to do with the frames per second,(fps).Broadcast video is at 30fps, however, that is also being upgraded and the movie industry has shot a movie in 48fps in 2014. The amount of fps will make the picture transition smoother however as stated it will not increase the resolution. The actual pixel amount is 3840 x 2160, which when 4K was introduced was not the only Ultra HD resolution created, the other resolution created was 4096 X 3112. At the time that standard seemed a little higher especially for industry leaders that were using 4K as more of a stepping stone to a higher resolution format of *8K, just as 720p was more of a stepping stone to 1080p. Based on industry giants - like Sony and Samsung - the 3840 X 2160 resolution would be the most consistent number in the industry and what all display manufacturers had settled on. Until we migrate to 8K use, there is another technology known as **Quantum Dots. *8K Is currently the resolution that a few leaders such as Crestron in the Pro AV market are already starting to work with. ** Quantum Dots is a technology that enhances your LCD Display, for more information see Comprehensive’s white paper article regarding Quantum Dots

This pamphlet is designed for VCOM in house training and educational purposes only. Please consult a licensed certified AV Installer/Integrator professional for any design or AV installation

_____________________________________________________________________________________ www.ComprehensiveCo.com | 80 Little Falls Rd. | Fairfield NJ 07004 | [email protected] | 800.526.0242

4K and Integration So the big question now is how is 4K going to affect my current and future installations? As stated earlier, 4K means higher resolutions and higher picture clarity. The next frontier for 4K would be the Digital Signage market, which continues to grow more and more in the years to come. As much as what is being read by everyone out there - nothing gets a company or industries point across - whether it is a new product, new feature, new service, or new advancements in any field, better than actual visualization. The more vibrant and crisp you send your message the more people are going to look at it just for the clarity alone, and pay more attention to it because of that. There are definite benefits for retail applications where it could make a big visual difference for folks who market high-end products from AV to auto sales to Jewelry and to fashion; this is where the most noticeable growth will occur first.

Backwards Compatibility, 4K to 1080p Now there’s Good news and Bad news, here’s the Good news. If you have a 1080p DVD/Blu-Ray player and you input that to a 4K TV the TV as long as it’s made by a reputable manufacturer will upscale that image to 4K. For Example the Crestron DM-RMC-4K-SCALER-C has been designed to upscale any native resolution up to 4K using a chip that was designed in-house by Crestron. Well that does sound promising. What’s the Bad News?

Bad News Here is the Bad news, the upscaled 1080p picture to 4K will actually blur the picture in the upscale process. The TV cannot create what was not there originally. Now a good quality scaler, like the Crestron DM-RMC-4K-SCALER-C we mentioned above can upscale from 1080p to 4K, which at the moment we could believe is entirely correct. But, a scaler only fills in the blank spaces. So the original statement that 4k and 1080p upscaling does not improve the picture quality is still true for the moment. A 1080p video will look the same on a 1080p TV or a 4k TV. The resolution will be increased by upscaling process, or filling in the blanks, since the total construction of the video will stay the same. In order to produce legitmate 4K, the video needs to be recorded in 4K.

UH-OH, More Bad new...True Compatibility with HDCP? HDCP is the digital handshake that creates the copy protection. HDCP means High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection. So the same technology used years ago on rented VHS tapes from Blockbuster Video to prevent the user from making a copy is “alive and well”. Although it has gone through several name changes and upgrades, it still means the same thing it did when it was introduced - preventing

This pamphlet is designed for VCOM in house training and educational purposes only. Please consult a licensed certified AV Installer/Integrator professional for any design or AV installation

_____________________________________________________________________________________ www.ComprehensiveCo.com | 80 Little Falls Rd. | Fairfield NJ 07004 | [email protected] | 800.526.0242

illegal copies of video content. HDCP was developed by the Intel Corporation to protect digital content across multiple digital interfaces and prevent media piracy. So, as you can see, there should not really be any conflict. They are not providing the same function, or a similar function, and they are not dependant on each other…. or are they? The answer is: Yes. They are dependant on each other. As of this writing, HDCP has had several versions. As technology changes the equipment, software, firmware, etc. needs to change to keep up. If you look at the chart below, you can see all the versions of HDCP, when they went into effect and their supported interfaces.

*Chart Courtesy of Wikipedia

As you can see from the above chart the only thing that should raise an eyebrow is the entry from February 13, 2013 and September 11, 2013 which states; This Spec is not bound to backward compatibility to V2.0 and V2.1 hence makes it a clean version of V2.2. So, what does that mean for you? That means that when you bought that first generation of 4K TVs unless everything else in the chain – ie, switcher, Distribution amp, Blu-Ray player, Home Theater Receiver - is HDCP 2.2 - your display is HDCP 2.2 it will not display it in 4K, and will drop the resolution down to 1080p/60fps. In the worst cases, unless everything is HDCP 2.2 you will have no 4k pictures at all, however you will still be able to view it in 1080p/60fps.

Wi-Fi This is an area that at the moment is not affected by HDCP. The advantage with Wi-Fi streaming is there is no HDCP in the mix at the moment. If you are streaming content from a provider like NetFlix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime in 4K to your Wi-Fi enabled display, you are getting the benefit of true 4K resolution. And at the time of writing this article, the amount of available 4K content can be counted on 2 hands, so not too much to see at the moment. With Wi-Fi the possible disruption, this is when HDCP gets added to wireless, which is already in the works to be developed. There is a bit of signal loss in the streaming This pamphlet is designed for VCOM in house training and educational purposes only. Please consult a licensed certified AV Installer/Integrator professional for any design or AV installation

_____________________________________________________________________________________ www.ComprehensiveCo.com | 80 Little Falls Rd. | Fairfield NJ 07004 | [email protected] | 800.526.0242

process. And there are devices now being created to upscale the 4K stream to the original 4K that was sent, provided the stream did not lose too much from a bad connection.

4K Availability Now that we know what 4K does and where we are going to see it, how available are 4K products? At the moment there are a handful of manufacturers creating 4K Displays and processors, as well as 4K pass thru devices. And as long as it’s HDCP 2.2 and the content was recorded in 4K you will have “True 4K”

What about Bandwidth in the 4K devices and cables, doesn’t that need to increase in order to handle 4K? Yes, it does. In order to send higher resolutions you need to have good amount of usable bandwidth. With cable mediums like fiber, it shouldn’t be an issue - standard fiber OM2 has a bandwidth rating capable of 500Mhz, OM3 is capable of 2000Mhz, and OM4 is 4700Mhz. Realistically, not everyone is using fiber and most displays do not offer a fiber input, but they do offer HDMI. In order for your HDMI cable to send that 4K signal, you will need around 18Gbs or more. Currently, only one manufacturer is offering a cable that was tested for up to 31Gbps, and that is Comprehensive’s HDMI Pro AV/IT Series. If you look at the chart below, you can see where you would get the full 4K resolutions at 60hz with full 24 bit deep color.

This pamphlet is designed for VCOM in house training and educational purposes only. Please consult a licensed certified AV Installer/Integrator professional for any design or AV installation

_____________________________________________________________________________________ www.ComprehensiveCo.com | 80 Little Falls Rd. | Fairfield NJ 07004 | [email protected] | 800.526.0242

As for the electronics, most vendors have not even reached the 10.2gb spec, and many are still down at 8.91gb spec, making it virtually impossible to even create the 4K signal.

Deep Color Why is deep color important? First, anything below 24-bit is not deep color. Anything over 24-bit is true and deep color. What does that mean? Quite simple the more bits of color the better the actual representation you are going to have based on the actual image. Deep color consists of 4 billion or more colors which are closer to the actual colors that appear in nature and in the full color spectrum. Below are a few images that will represent the difference between standard color and deep color and the progression. Standard color produces what’s called banding. With banding the closer you get to the image, the easier it is to visually pick out where the color is being blended. With deep color since you are increasing the color spectrum by billions, the distinction or blending is no longer noticeable, therefore, the banding virtually disappears - virtually because more color bits have been added to see the banding, and a high powered microscope would be needed to view.

Above images courtesy of Wikipedia

As you can see from the images above, 8-bit is standard color, 24-bit is True color (48 bit or Deep color which would be 4 billion and above, could only be represented using a 4K monitor/display). At the chart below will show you what that actually means in the amount of colors represented.

Comprehensive Pro AV/IT HDMI Cables are doing 4K/60 Full HD at 18Gbs up to 48 bit Deep Color.

Color Depth Possible Colors

8 bit 256

16 bit 65,536

24 bit 48 bit 16,777,216 4,294,967,296

Don’t be fooled by Marketing

This pamphlet is designed for VCOM in house training and educational purposes only. Please consult a licensed certified AV Installer/Integrator professional for any design or AV installation

_____________________________________________________________________________________ www.ComprehensiveCo.com | 80 Little Falls Rd. | Fairfield NJ 07004 | [email protected] | 800.526.0242

When you see key phrases for products such as, “Supports 4K”, that does not necessarily mean it will do 4K - just that it supports 4K, if it’s fed the correct signal, and it’s using the correct HDCP. There is a lot of ambiguity in most marketing materials, forcing the end user to guess at the results.

Conclusion 4K video is real, and we explored how you can exactly display 4k images correctly. You need to keep in mind that you will be able to view true 4K as long as everything in the video chain is:  Recorded in 4K  If Streaming a signal it needs to be full 4k  The HDCP is at minimum of 2.2  The Display is fully 4K functional and not pass thru  Everything in the chain down to the cables are 4K and HDCP 2.2 compliant So be weary when someone tells you it’s 4K compatible. That does not mean your images will be in 4K, just that the equipment is capable. But all the variables need to line up and all conflicts need to be resolved, such as the 4K and the HDCP issue.

Author : Martin Fensterstock Date: February 11, 2015

This pamphlet is designed for VCOM in house training and educational purposes only. Please consult a licensed certified AV Installer/Integrator professional for any design or AV installation

_____________________________________________________________________________________ www.ComprehensiveCo.com | 80 Little Falls Rd. | Fairfield NJ 07004 | [email protected] | 800.526.0242