As techies debate the next hot media technology, a new format war is brewing.
TV makers came to CES last January trumpeting UltraHD, The quad-resolution high def picture was their hope to re-ignite interest in giant flat panels after stereo 3-D failed to ignite the market.
Hollywood wants something different. Rushing to more pixels is an easy but unsatisfying answer, said one studio exec who asked to be unnamed.
Instead, content owners are shopping ideas such as expanding the color gamut which is still locked in the olden days of what could be shown on a CRT. Today’s LCDs can show a much wider set of colors and consumers will notice the difference. By contrast they will need huge screens to detect the difference more pixels bring with UltraHD, the exec said.
In addition, Hollywood has made proposals for extending the dynamic color range and contrast in the next big format. Concepts for more immersive audio and faster frame rates also are under discussion. The big questions are whether the two sides can agree on all the new nuances and find a way to boil them down to a simple concept or number to sell to consumers.
“Lots of bilateral discussions are going on now [about the next format, and] forums will probably pop up in the future to try to resolve some of this stuff,” the exec said.
Sounds like Blu-ray vs. HD DVD and VHS vs. Betamax all over again. But this time the format is not focused on a cartridge or shiny disk. These days it’s all digital, networked delivery—and that’s the other and biggest old on-going argument.