Last week we heard about a consumer version of Facebook’s Oculus Rift, the virtual reality TV-video headset. It sets back users some $1,500 when including all of the software -- mostly gamers, for sure -- It will come to market in 2016.
That’s some high-end stuff. On the flip side, we have better traditional TV sets: those 4K TV sets, so-called Ultra HDTVs, four times sharper than current HDTV models. TV set manufacturers continued to drop 4KTV prices as well as dramatically slowing down regular HDTV marketing -- if not production.
So one recent report from Strategy Analytics predicts that nearly half of U.S. homes will own an Ultra HD set by 2020.
Still, TV networks and video platforms aren’t in much of a rush to start transmitting video signals in this high-quality format, only having in recent years made a full transition to HDTV from standard-definition TV. To be sure, some are dipping their toes in the waters -- like DirecTV starting up satellite capabilities in delivering in 4K. Additionally, Netflix has Ultra HDTV capabilities.
How do consumers feel about this? Great. Who doesn’t want high quality -- at low cost? That is, unless something better is around the corner, such as OLED or quantum dot 4K TV technology.
You can always wait for 8K technology, which Japan’s NHK has developed. This past weekend Fox Sports held a live 8K screening of FIFA Women’s World Cup Soccer tournament from NHK.
In five years we may indeed see half of U.S. TV homes with 4K TV sets. But the betting is that we won’t see half of TV networks transmitting in 4K.
This continues to be the case of technology leading content, with most consumers scratching their heads about why they should buy pricey devices now, when there might not be enough content created in those formats to fill their recreational hours.
Promises, promises: Big media is at least good at that.