Friday 27 September 2013

My 4K Encounter

As I walked around one of my favourite retail outlets (Canada Computers), I was just checking out hard drives, wireless rodents, RC helicopters, CPU cases and domestic appliances. Deep inside the store (it's one of those big box locations), I noticed a home theatre setup - big soft couches, surround sound, and a monster TV.

Only a few feet away, I was surprised I couldn't see the subtle dot grid you normally see when you stand that close. It took me a minute to realize how incredibly high the resolution was, but even then I had no idea what I was looking at. There were these goofy vector graphics animating on the screen like a kaleidoscope, but they were zooming up and down and the edges were absolutely perfect (as vectors should be). At that point I decided to try out the couch.

Even though I wanted to look around for pricing information, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. It switched to still photographs - but the kind of images they use to trick you into buying an HD TV in the first place. Only HD shot with an HD video camera looks that good. Film has that soft, lovely grain we're all used to, but a digital video image has that sharp vicious look that reveals every freckle, crease and flaw. Flowers and rocks look great, but when you can count the hairs in an eyebrow, it starts getting a little creepy.

Then a young woman in a long purple dress walked into a garden. I looked around at the green leaves and blossoms framing her. It now dawned on me this was no ordinary hi def TV. I was finally witnessing the ultimate entertainment technology our ancestors have been dreaming of for 10,000 years . . . 4K. This was an 84 inch 4K LED and it was available for me to purchase for $19,999. The only trouble is you need 4K media to play on it. So then I was looking at a Sony F65 CineAlta 4K camera and it was $65,000. So next  I went looking for a Lamborghini Aventador (LP700 2 door all-wheel drive roadster) and the MSRP was $441,600. That's when I decided to fly to Italy for the VIEW Conference (October 15 - 18) in Turin. John Knoll (co-creator of Photoshop and Chief Creative Officer of ILM) is the Keynote speaker there. Other guests include the absolute royalty of digital artists and special effects. Take a look at the lineup. I would sincerely love to be there.

. . . and that's when looked down at my feet to see if I was wearing ruby slippers.

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