Framestore, the VFX house that did effects for Gravity, says 4K is coming faster than you think:
You might think the switch to 4K sounds a long way off, especially as the first 4K TV sets were only recently launched, but there is a good chance it will happen faster than the switch from standard to high definition. The TV sets have become affordable much in a much shorter time – HD sets remained at a premium for years, but 55” ultra HD televisions are already available for less than £2,000.
The real question is: will it make an impact?
But will the viewer notice the difference? Well, yes. As our Head of Engineering, Andy Howard, describes: “If you’re looking at someone shot in the correct light and you’re at the correct viewing distance from the 4K display, which is quite critical, then you’ll see detail such as the hairs on their arms, the precise texture of their skin.”
“Correct viewing distance,” being the operative phrase here. As Stu Maschwitz at Prolost explains, the closer you sit to a display, the more that resolution becomes discernable:
If you bought a 60” television, you’d have to sit about four feet away from it before you’d perceive the full benefit of 4K over good old 1080p.
Most people won’t be sitting that close to such a large television. For projectors and theaters, however, 4K may be a different story. Normally I’d chalk this article up to marketing hype, but I respect Framestore a lot after seeing Gravity and all the behind-the-scenes work it took to execute.