4K distribution - is it worth it and why would you need it? So, it’s finally here, 4K video is at last becoming ‘mainstream’, signalled by the BBC putting some of their programming out in the format. Whilst the BBC provides confirmation that the technology is now accepted as mainstream, Netflix has led the way, now offering the simplest way to access a huge array of their content in 4K.
The problem is, most of the equipment we use to access services such as Netflix tends to be at the cheaper end of the scale. If you have ever streamed directly to a TV using the built in WiFi or RJ45 connection, you have likely witnessed the lack of quality first hand, it’s often times hard to distinguish between HD and 4K, which simply shouldn’t be the case, this is especially evident on larger screens, say 65” or above.
So what is the best way to access 4K video across a property? Now it is finally here, likely the best programming service is SkyQ, watching sport in 4K is a real joy, it’s hard to imagine another reason the format was invented in the first place. Then there is the aforementioned Netflix, as well as Amazon and of course Blu-Ray 4K players (by far the best format if you have the ability to use it).
But, if you wish to view these services in different rooms, what is the best way to do it? At the moment, Apple TV is probably one of the cheapest and best ways to access all of the streaming services. The new 4K unit is a massive step up from the old unit. However, if you want to use Blu-Ray 4K and would like upgraded sound with the use of speakers, things like an Apple TV just won’t cut it.
This is where a full 4K HDMI distribution system comes in, allowing the split out of sound, centralised sources and the transmission of the highest quality 4K video over extended distances (when compared to the relatively short max distance of HDMI of between 15m and 20m) Using a HDMI distribution allows for the equipment to be located out of site, alongside audio amplification and all of your video sources - a rack containing an Apple TV box, Sky Q boxes, a Blu-Ray 4K player and maybe an Amazon Fire TV box would all link to each of the rooms, allowing full access to the very best 4K can offer.
So, is 4K distribution worth it? Whilst not an inexpensive option, it is the ultimate solution and whilst there are less expensive solutions out there, none offer the a great user experience or flexibility.