Ultra high-definition 4K TV is the fastest-growing segment of the television industry, according to Richard M. Lewis, vice president, hospitality technology and research, LG Electronics USA. With at least 3,840 pixels wide and 2,160 pixels from side to side, these TVs offer four times the resolution of today’s full HD TVs. Lewis explains what makes these TVs so popular and the outlook for them in the hotel industry.
What will make 4K TVs appealing to the hotel industry?
We see ultra HD TV as the next wave of innovation in the TV industry. With over 8 million pixels on the screen, ultra HD TV provides amazing clarity and a more immersive entertainment experience, especially on large screens. For the hospitality industry, ultra HD TV represents the natural evolution of display resolution, providing increased picture density that will become increasingly important as the average screen size deployed in hotel rooms continues to grow in the years ahead.
Ultra HD TVs represent premium models for luxury hotel brands and premium suites. They are high-end TVs that will provide a differentiated guest experience. Ultra HD TVs will be typically coupled with premium industrial design that allows the hotel to create an outstanding visual experience even when the TV is not in use. The long-term advantage to ultra HD TV is that eventually this technology will become the standard display in large-screen sizes.
What steps need to be taken in order to implement 4K?
High-speed Internet access (HSIA) capacity is a critical component to successfully delivering over-the-top services. System integrators run networks that could provide alternative means to delivering content as well as implementing tiered HSIA services where access charges can help reduce the bandwidth used. The entertainment delivery infrastructure will require an update before the true advantages of ultra HD TVs can be fully realized.
What is your outlook for 4K technology in the hotel industry?
Ultra HD TV is on the verge of being deployed today in premium suites, but full-scale adoption is likely a few years off as these sets will continue to command premium price points. Driven by an exploding consumer market—LG estimates that American consumers will purchase over 900,000 ultra HD TV units this year, up exponentially from 76,000 in 2013—the incremental cost to manufacture displays will decrease over time and make ultra HD displays more viable for the hospitality market in the years ahead.
While content ultimately will be an important driver and much work remains to have widespread availability of native 4K content, the benefits of ultra HD TV’s increased resolution are available today thanks to powerful upscaling inside the TVs. Much as 720P content can look outstanding on a full HD display, HD content on a large-screen 4K set looks amazing.