4k TVs, the plight of the early adopter.

The steep price tag of a 4K TV... with older HDMI outputs

With Samsung announcing the release of its entry-level, cheaper 4K TVs (F9000) and Sony already having its hands in the pot by releasing its 55 inch (XBR X900A), early adopters are probably chomping at the bit to throw their money down on what I would think at this point, from a gamer’s perspective, a very expensive piece of sh!t. As with most new technology, the rest of the electronic world has not caught up with what exists for the better off. As I write this article, the televisions mentioned do not have the appropriate video output to support proper gaming. Until a new HDMI standard is put in place, the signal for 4K resolution is not attainable from any of the next-gen consoles. 

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Why even release this new hardware?

4K TVs CAN push out the resolution, but only at 30 frames per second (30 FPS.) For a gamer trying to play a higher impact game such as the new Call of Duty or Battlefield, the FPS is critical. No gamer would want to see their games shown through their screens with choppy graphics or significant loss in fidelity. For an avid movie fan, this lag is acceptable, as it does not take away from the experience of watching films.

What does this mean for Xbox One and PS4?

New consoles to be released in the holiday season have promised to allow 4K resolution streaming video. Though it will take quite a bit of bandwidth to play the content, the quality of the video will be worth it. The issue being that when gaming catches up with the technology that is coming out, both consoles will still have the previous generation’s technology. This means that the HDMI standard that is in place at the moment will still be hardwired into the consoles themselves. When 4K TVs start embracing this new standard, Sony and Microsoft will still not be able to play games at a reasonable frame rate. It would be no surprise to see in the coming years a newer version of those consoles with HDMI ports capable of outputting 4K resolution with their games.

Does that mean I should wait? 

By no means should you wait to buy a new console. If you look at the trend from the previous generation, it will take quite a few years before both major companies alter their consoles. PS3 took 3 years to change the aesthetics of its hardware from the original console to the slimmer version. Xbox took 5. Even with a change to their systems, that is not a promise that they will change enough to push 4K.

With time, we will see the true potential of seeing things in a higher resolution. The technology behind it could prove the missing link to glasses free 3D, which was the hype last year. Supposedly 3D was the future and it has flickered out quite rapidly. 4K could go the in the same direction. Even without a new TV, I’m sure gamers will still flock to the new generation of gaming, and enjoy.

Are you considering jumping to the next level of television, or will you wait till the price is right?


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