This week, Japan became the first country to get an active 8K broadcast stream. I saw my first 8K TV a couple of years back at IFA in Berlin. Then the first consumer 4K televisions were just trickling in, that too with exorbitant price points. Now, that technology has finally become affordable.
On Thursday, when Chinese technology upstart LeEco announced its array of televisions for the Indian market, it was the price points that everyone was talking about. At about, Rs 59,790 you can now own a 55-inch 4K television. Of course, there are cheaper 4K versions as well from Indian brands like VU, available at Rs 40,000 for a 43-inch version. The Rs 1,000 per inch rate that used to hold true for Full HD televisions is now application for Ultra HD screens too and that too with smart functionality.
While 4K channels are now available in India, the big driver here will be online content. Any 4K smart television will natively show you 4K content on YouTube, and now there is an abundance of it. The argument that 4K content is still lagging does not hold water, at least for those who are no longer hooked to live TV.
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As these screens become popular we might see a faster shift from cable or satellite based television to internet based streamed content which is truly controlled by the user. The Rio Olympics 2016 starting in a few hours from now will also set the ground for more widespread 4K broadcasts across the world. But across the world people will also be using apps as well as YouTube to stream content from Rio in 4K.
Yes, the 4K world is finally here.