8 reasons why you should be excited about Ultra HD

4K is coming and you'll have no choice but to love it

Sony Pictures alone has already remastered over 100 movies in this way. It's worthwhile, too - the 4K remaster of classics such as Laurence of Arabia will be the first versions of the movie to use and display all of the picture information captured on the original film. So in some respect, 4K remasters will be the definitive editions.

8 reasons why you should be excited about Ultra HD

Remastering films in 4K captures detail that even HD missed

6. TV shows are now shot in 4K by default

It's not just movies that are getting the 4K love, either. If you want to make a new TV show at Sony Pictures, 4K is now the default format. It's the same elsewhere. It's a little more expensive to make shows this way, but the increased value when it comes to syndication later down the line makes it a no brainer for many of the leading US studios. And of course, older shows shot on film can be remastered in 4K just like older movies. Below you can see Breaking Bad being remastered in 4K, one painstaking frame at a time.

8 reasons why you should be excited about Ultra HD

TV shows, including Breaking Bad, are being brought up to the Ultra HD mark

7. 4K TV broadcasts aren't far away

A compressed 4K movie stored on a server at a cinema takes up around 200GB of storage space. Sony's market-leading F65 8K camera (Sony shoots in 8K and downsamples to 4K or 2K) can squeeze only around 1 hour of footage onto a 1TB Sony SR memory card. So you'd be forgiven for assuming that 4K TV broadcasts are a long way off, but that's not actually true thanks to advances in compression technology.

The newly ratified HEVC compression format for 4K can deliver a brilliant Ultra HD broadcast picture with a bitrate of just 20Mbit/s. When compared to the 12Mbit/s currently employed for HD, that's not such a huge leap. FIFA will be filming the World Cup in 4K in 2016, and as we found out recently, the BBC is planning to trial 4K broadcasting at Wimbledon this very year. As an aside, YouTube is already serving up 4K video, and Netflix says it's not far behind.

8 reasons why you should be excited about Ultra HD

The BBC will trial 4K broadcasts at Wimbledon this year

8. Glasses-free 3D is coming

The final reason to be enthusiastic about higher resolution TVs is that they are opening the door for the definitive form of 3D - glasses free - to become a reality. Current glasses-free tech, which is already impressive but not quite ready yet, uses a lenticular-style lens over the screen to separate the light from the panel into two channels - one for each eye. This division of the light effectively halves the resolution which is why glasses free 3D requires at least a 4K panel to be effective.

8 reasons why you should be excited about Ultra HD

Ultra HD makes glasses-free 3D a possibility, and that makes 3D much more attractive


Reviews Editor

James (Twitter, ) oversees the reviews we publish on the site and also edits the TV, AV, Gaming, Car Tech and Gadgets channels. He's been in the field for 13 years, and travels all over the world to attend tech shows, product launches and cult gatherings. James' opinions have been inflicted on audiences of BBC TV, Radio 5 Live, The Guardian, local radio and various magazines and he's a grizzled veteran of most tech shows but will never again to return to CeBIT (no means no).