After JVC introduced their 4K projector about 1.5 years ago, I met up with the JVC sales manager. He told me at that time about 10 units had been sold to home theaters, regardless if it is usefull for them, just as being the top-notch hardware (ie. "mine is better than yours..." attitude of the buyer). At the same time no single unit has been sold to professionals.
As I am not JVC I have no idea if that is still a correct "relationship" between the two sides, consumers vs. professionals, but a rich consumer pays easily for something like that, while a professional will always ask "what is it good for?", regardless of the price. Here in germany we have about two 4K enabled DCI conform theaters IIRC, so "what is it good for to grade in 4K for just two screens?" On the long term that will change, for sure.
Some long time ago I made a prediction to say that HD will grow in Europe from bottom to top, ie. first the consumers will have HD, and after that the broadcasters and professionals will follow. From todays perspective this is totally true. HD hasn't really been introduced (so few stations, many did some tests, many dropped it after a while), HD is basically a "pay tv" thingy over here at this point.
I am willing to make another prediction:
We will see major amounts home installations of 4K enabled hardware before a wide range of 4K screens may become available in germany. And I bet that rules for most parts of Europe, at last.
Expect 4K 30" displays in a few month...
I do well remember that particular Astro screen presentation. Compelling image quality, even with rather unspectacular footage.
Best scene to me was that herd of japanese half-naked guys moving that giant dragon among that place. A fun for the anti-terror-teams: Everyone can be identified by face...
I just hope we can get this on our homes before our eyes get old and tired, and do resemble only SD anymore... :)
Last Christmas I bought myself a Sony Bravia VPL-HW10 front projector. It's 1080p and it looks amazing! My screen is about 12-13 feet across and I generally sit about 18 feet away from it. But you have to get less than 2 or 3 feet before you ever see 'pixels.' 4k would probably look even more amazing, but of course it would depend on the source material. Even at 1080p quality on my projector completely depends on the source.
Take Dark Knight, which is about the best I've seen anything look on it. It's great demo material. The IMAX shots look a LOT better than the rest of the film footage. How can that be? The whole film source is theoretically higher density (resolution) than my projector. But the IMAX shots are so much crisper than the rest of the film and make my projector shine (screenshots in the links below). Maybe they devoted more bitrate to those shots on the BD? Or maybe it has to do with the lens?
But I believe that higher resolution source material is going to look better on 1080P than just a 1080P source. This is why I'm NOT getting a 7D and am waiting to buy a scarlet. If I'm going to shoot an indie film, projected or not, I want to shoot it at higher than 1920 because it will make the final product look much better. Scarlet footage shot at 3k, edited at 3k, effects at 3k, mastered and THEN downscaled to 1080p will look much better on my projector than 7D footage shot at 1080 using a lossy codec, then transcoded to something you can edit in, etc...
For those interested - here are links to my opinions of the sony projector, with photos...
Today (11/19/09 in Tokyo) at InterBEE (~ the NAB of Japan ), Epson showed a prototype of their 8k projector, which can also project 4k stereo, in a small theater in their booth on the show floor. The theater, about 75 feet from the RED booth, seats about 16 people in two rows. I sat in the front row, about four or five feet from the rear-projected screen, which measured about 10 feet by 5 feet, roughly. Yes, quite close. The 8k images were simply stunning, as was the 4k stereo. They showed an amazingly detailed stereo cityscape, most likely Tokyo, and an 8k short that I had seen before on NHK's ultra-high definition system, the short with the kids jumping off the bridge into the river. One other 8k scene, looked like a close shot of a Japanese float that one might see in a parade, with rich color, texture and depth. Even without it being a stereo shot, it had quite a 3d feel to it.
There was a 4k stereo clip of a Japanese character in traditional, colorful, garb, making the very slow movements characteristic of Japanese theater.
The Epson representative said the 4k stereo was shot on a stereoscopic RED One camera rig, so RED footage has made its way onto Epson's latest prototype projector already, and in 4k stereo! It looked beautiful.
The projector is a prototype; Epson would not say when it would be a shipping product. I hope it's soon! It was a very exciting experience.
You can see the demo tomorrow, Friday (11/20) at InterBEE at Makuhari Messe, Tokyo, Japan, at the Epson booth. If you're in Tokyo, don't miss it, or the RED booth, either!
And check out Element Technica's RED stereo rig while you're there.
RED One #447
Thanks for that report Richard.
Great report, I'd love to see it. Hopefully we get a real product out of this prototype in the not too distant future.
Thank you for that, Richard. My accountant got the heebie-jeebies while I was reading your post.
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