IT/AV, Video

4K Video—All The Way?

Ready or not, distributed 4K video is here.

Whether it’s really needed for communication purposes, or even justifiable from a cost/benefit standpoint, 4K is coming quickly to commercial and institutional AV.

There are, of course, many applications, including scientific, large-group videoconferencing, digital signage and immersive experiences of all sorts, that can benefit from the upgrade to 4K. Staging companies, with their appetite for maximum impact, are well ahead of the curve with 4K deployments; meanwhile, signage systems can readily use the increased information density available on UHD screens. Specific industries are also a good match for new video systems. At least one major petrochemical company has already mandated that all meeting rooms be 4K capable for conferencing and geo-graphics.

However, in many cases, the push for 4K is being driven less by real-time needs and more by the desire for prestige, or by the fear of being left behind…a facility obsolete before its time.

Many of the tools required for 4K AV/IT are ready for prime time; are the players, though? Increased consumer sales of UHD TVs have helped create a bumper crop of displays for commercial applications. A good selection of 4K cameras, distribution equipment, servers, software and other tools are now available from leading AV manufacturers. But, are the required technical and creative skills, infrastructure and customer expectations all in place? As with any emerging technology, the devil is in the details, and it’s in the space between clients’ dreams and the reality of what can be achieved at a reasonable cost.

Just make sure your partners and you have covered all the bases well in advance, and ensure everyone understands what’s really possible. To help you be better prepared, we asked a broad spectrum of AV/IT pros about the challenges of deploying 4K. Their responses should provide food for thought, and maybe some tips that could prevent a snafu or two.

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