Can 4K video surveillance help the enterprise?

Court considerations

To use the 4K video footage in a court case, there has to be a way to easily transport the stored video, which tends to have much higher storage requirements, and then play the 4K video.

"If the court has the technology to present it in the full 4K image resolution and the image was taken at the perfect angle, it's possible," says Zoldan. "The image is crisp and the higher frame rate would make it easier for police to get a clear image of a criminal even if they were moving, and the high resolution doesn't sacrifice quality if they have to deal with large crowds."

"4K can provide improved opportunities to identify an individual, vehicle or object in real time observation and forensic review," says Surfaro. "A video source capable of supporting the identification of a person or vehicle of interest depends not only on resolution, but imager, image processing, lens, illumination and compression efficiency. With all parameters being equal, 4K provides four times the resolution of 1080p HDTV video sources."


Of course, with any technical advancement, companies have to weigh the pros and cons. The technology is still so new that the broadcast networks in the UK and the US have not made any plans to offer channels in 4K, and 4K televisions are not exactly flying off the shelf.

Yet from what we know about technology adoption, there is usually an announcement about an innovation, slow deployment in consumer markets, widespread adoption with consumers, and then a trickle down effect into large companies.

The exact same paradigm shift happened with HDTV 1080p video with consumers before it replaced the video conferencing systems used in companies (which typically relied on older televisions without HD capabilities). With 4K, the technology is now poised for widespread adoption as most new televisions use the higher resolution. It's just a matter of time before 4K becomes a business standard.

For early adopters and companies that can benefit the most from the increased resolution – such as law firms, banks, credit card processors, or pharmaceuticals – the timing might be just right. 4K could provide the right increase in resolution to make a video security system even more valuable in the near future.

John Brandon

John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.