Give Your Customers the Full Lesson on 4K by Tapping Into Home Entertainment

For integrators dealing with residential customers, 4K home entertainment can solidify the sale.

Security integrators know the term 4K more from surveillance camera specs, but your residential customers are likely hearing the 4K buzz more when they are considering new television purchases. If you are considering sales pitches on 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) for home entertainment, there’s good news in that a key consideration – the amount of content available – is steadily ramping up.

The maturation of the entire 4K ecosystem is also aided by the increased awareness of high dynamic range (HDR) and wide color gamut (WDG) provisions that video experts have been calling for, which may translate into real money for integrators.

Judging by the products on display at CEDIA Expo 2015 last October and January’s Consumer Electronics Show, 4K with HDR will be an important driver for the market over what’s now regular old 1080p HD. Companies such as Sony, Epson, Digital Projection, Barco, Christie, Vizio, LG and others have shown a variety of projectors, displays and other 4K solutions.

The consumer trend of “cord cutting” and the continued adoption of streaming in lieu of physical media are shaping product development, with 4K content delivery led by Netflix and Amazon. Additionally, rental/download service Vudu through TV manufacturer Vizio recently announced it will offer 4K movies with the added benefit of Dolby Vision (an HDR format) from the Warner Bros. library; movie server manufacturer Kaleidescape has implemented 4K offerings through its online download store, and Sony offers its own recently debuted ULTRA service for 4K content.

Meanwhile, Dish Network’s small-footprint 4K Joey set-top box is capable of delivering streaming media and broadcast. Other options like the Roku 4, Amazon Fire TV and TiVo Bolt promise to bring 4K to the forefront.

Also, don’t write off physical media. In May 2015 the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) announced the completion of the Ultra Blu-ray Disc specification, and A/V manufacturers are bringing players to market this year.

Read More: What to Know About Switching to a 4K Video Surveillance System

But what does all this mean for integrators when they are face to face with their clients?

“Wide color gamut and HDR are going to make the sale,” says Michael Heiss, longtime industry tech guru and consultant. He notes that integrators are going to have to be ready to respond to customers who will be asking why they need to upgrade their displays, projectors and sources when they just purchased something two years ago. Unfortunately for customers, if they do not swap out the entire system end to end, it won’t work.

“You cannot piecemeal it,” warns Heiss. “4K video is a wonderful improvement over 1080p with all that resolution, but it’s not about ‘more pixels’ but ‘better pixels’ and ‘faster pixels.'”


Bio: Robert Archer is Senior Editor of SSI Sister Publication CE Pro.

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