There is something weird going on in the broadcast and electronics industry. Yesterday I visited the IBC, a huge broadcast and television industry convention in Amsterdam. And, as expected, the new thing was stereoscopic 3D. Cameras, editing and effects software, projectors, tv screens .. everything in 3D.

But who likes stereoscopic 3D? I don’t. And nobody I know does, not even young gamers. It is funny, once in a while in a cinema or as a extra on a DVD but that’s it. The glasses are silly and even without them it’s still no easy ride. I have seen every 3D technology available and they all give me a headache. Not a glimpse of painless 3D.

So if stereoscopic 3D is a niche thing, what is the big thing? Well, there is an interesting development in resolution going on. The transition to HD was a real challenge but now that we are there it’s just a matter of ‘bigger, better, faster’ to increasing the resolution even further.

2K and 4K
After HD there is 2K, initially developed for digital cinema projectors. In pixel count this is just a 8% step up so a regular Full HD screen is already very much like 2K.

Then there is 4K, eight times sharper than HD. Also initially developed for cinema but the first 4K television screens are in development. I saw one and my jaw dropped. It’s so sharp, the image feels like reality. And that is actually the objective of stereoscopic 3D but then without the headache!

4K is already a cinema technology but as a TV technology it’s much more promising to get this reality-feel. And if you want a reality-feel in the cinema .. use a 8K beamer. Yes, that’s right: 8K! At 7680 × 4320 pixels it’s super sharp even on a big screen. I’ll post about that next time.

Pixel density
On a smaller scale I had a similar ‘wow!’ experience with the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy. Both mobile phones have a very high pixel density; a lot of pixels crammed together on a small screen. And it works, they look gorgeous. I hope it will become a trend to increase pixel density and pixel count in the near future. It makes a lot more sense then silly stereoscopic 3D.