Ripped off is not a politically correct description. I think a better description is the motivational speaker version: "I don't see failure - I only see untapped potential". The US consumer is led by the nose and willingly buying something that has tremendous untapped potential when he buys 4K TVs. The internet providers trottle bandwidth so streaming is not an option. Broadcasters are still using HD to transmit SD quality in 16:9 format and 4K Bluray is not yet ready. For TV, high quality 1080p HD is so good that 4K is totally wasted for most people. However a 32" 4K monitor on my desktop is something different :-)
When I lived in Japan [last century] I was pleasantly surprised with high quality video of the NTSC broadcasts. In the US the video quality was poor, and NTSC (aka Never The Same Color) was blamed for that. But in the end it was a matter of having the right mind set. In the US quality does not seem to be considered important. I am still surprised how poor qualility some live US broadcasts are.
My take on this is that a recycled sales pitch which is hopelessly out of date could do with some hevy editing. H.265 is ratified, commercial encoding solutions exists and umpteen 4K decoder chipsets are coming to market. The FPGA solution had it's 15 minutes (OK - 15 months) of fame.
Anyway; the important issue is if high quality 4K material will become available to the average consumer. I think the fact that little if any of the 2014 Winter Olympics were recorded in 4K is indicative of the possible failure of 4K. If H.265 is only used to provide what would pass as a good quality standard resolution picture at even lower bitrate then 4K is doomed at least the US market.
ESPN simulcast SD and HD over satellite in Europe. It was interesting to compare the same feed from the same event simulcast in both SD and HD by Eurosport. Europsort SD was far better technical quality than ESPN HD.
After relocating to the US I have confirmed that standard resolution broadcasts in Europe are far better quality that HD here in the US. And US SD is just as bad as godd old HQ VHS. US distributors would be far better off ensuring the capability of HD is maximized before even considering moving to 4K.
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