You might think your new 4K TV set is the height of living room tech, but it may not be able to play back a simple footie game very soon.
That’s because early adopters of UHD televisions could find their sets are unable to handle future 4K sports broadcasts.
Many 4K TVs, particularly early units, simply don’t have the processing heft to play UHD content back at a rate higher than 25 frames per seconds.
That’s fine for Hollywood movies, but sports broadcasts need to be transmitted at a higher frame rate due to the content’s faster pace.
Chris Jones, Sky’s chief engineer of broadcast strategy, said: “
He continued: “It’ll only go up to 25 frames per second. If you bought a set last year, even a set in the sales this summer, this spring, then I’m sorry – it won’t do High Dynamic Range, which gives you better, brighter pictures.”
According to Jones, sports broadcasts would be best transmitted at 100 frames per second, which requires huge processing power at a 4K resolution.
That’s because while Full HD is video that makes use of 1920 x 1080 pixels, 4K works at resolutions of 3840 x 2160 and 4096 x 2160, which is much more difficult to process due to the increased information.
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Samsung currently sells a UHD Evolution Kit. For £400, this will allow you to upgrade the performance of certain 4K TVs from 2013.
But as there’s still no standard for 4K broadcasting yet, it’s not clear whether this plug-in will allow for high-quality sports content.
Samsung reportedly stated it will “be working closely with all streaming and other UHD services to ensure that we continue to meet any new standards that come into the market.”