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When Will 4K Become Available At Home?

As you no doubt know, the biggest buzz in consumer electronics these days is 3D. But every time I talk about it, the most common question is, "Yeah, but when will we see 4K?" While the debate continues about whether or not 3D is worthwhile, everyone seems to agree that 4K—a picture with 4096x2160 resolution, four times the number of pixels in current HD images—would be awesome.

Unfortunately, there are some impediments to the immediate widespread availability of 4K. For example, it costs much more to make a 4K display, which must be very large to take full advantage of the extra resolution, so such products would be a lot more expensive in an era of rapidly falling prices and a weak economy. And even if 4K displays were available and affordable, what about content? Studios routinely scan and archive their movies at 4K or higher, and some now shoot with 4K digital cameras, but there's no delivery system for that much data to the home. A physical medium would need much more capacity and much higher bitrate than Blu-ray currently offers, and online streaming is impossible without a major upgrade to consumer broadband services.

The big question is how long will it take to resolve these issues so consumers can watch 4K content on 4K displays in their homes? When do you think this will happen?

Vote to see the results and leave a comment about your choice.

When Will 4K Become Available At Home?