One of the biggest stories about 4K, UHD, (4KUHD?) at CES 2014 this year isn’t the shiny new TVs busting out the crystalline Ultra HD images, but the push by the companies that make said TVs to tackle the appalling lack of available 4K content. Today, Samsung released the blueprints for its part of the plan to create a substantial source of programming to help make the high priced new displays sing.
Senior VP Kyungshik Lee explained Samsung’s role, explaining that the company has a responsibility to “…work with global content partners and distribution channels to accelerate consumer adoption and access to UHD content.” In order to accomplish that goal, and presumably to help sell a lot more 4K TVs, Samsung is working with several big names in the industry, including Amazon, M-GO, Netflix, Comcast, and DirecTV to solve the problems of compressing the enormous high-capacity UHD files for transmission online, and over the airways.
M-GO in particular, which is backed by Hollywood titans Technicolor and Dreamworks, is working closely with Samsung TVs, announcing today a “comprehensive 4K streaming service” which will launch in the spring of this year. M-GO’s new service is focusing primarily on native 4K content, but will also be utilizing its own “4K Optimized” system, leveraging its Hollywood connections to render source files acquired by industry partners, essentially remastering movies from their original format so that they are optimized for upscaling from specified chips in UHD TVs.
Apart from those ventures, Samsung announced it will be releasing a UHD Video Pack containing popular movies from select studios, including 20th Century Fox and Paramount. The Video Packs will eventually be available for purchase, and additional content will also be available from Samsung’s Smart Hub, for a proposed total of 50 UHD movies in 2014.
Will the proliferation of UHD content may be moving at a snail’s pace, the news that the titans of the 4K TV movement are not content to wait for the industry to catch up, and are taking matters into their own hands is an encouraging sign for early adopters of the technology, as well as those waiting on the periphery for a paradigm shift. If all goes according to plan, 2014 may be the year when 4K content went from a blip on the radar to a burgeoning new market.
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