NYC TV Week: 4K Content Growing

More TV, Movie Producers Archive Content

New York – Movie and television producers are beginning to shoot more shows in 4K, helping to grow the stock of ultra-HD content that could help spur the market for the latest and greatest television technology.

At a panel session entitled “4K: Path to Ultra-HD,” Sony Professional Solutions of America president Alec Shapiro said that TV shows like The Blacklist, The Michael J. Fox Show and movies like the Tom Cruise space drama Oblivion were all shot in 4K and more importantly archived in the technology. By archiving content in 4K, it makes it available for syndication, which could also help spur its acceptance.

“Syndication is where a lot of the money is made,” Shapiro said on the panel.

While 4K has obvious advantages – its clear sound and sharp images put HD to shame – it has some that are less obvious. At the panel session, moderated by Multichannel News technology editor Jeff Baumgartner, The Weather Channel Network president David Clark said the technology’s ability to allow shooting video from a greater distance from the subject is especially valuable in filming dangerous weather events like tornadoes.

But high prices for sets and a dearth of content have stymied widespread deployment of 4K, but the panelists likened it to the learning curve for HD sets and technology. The panelists, however, chafed at any comparisons of the technology to a recent “latest and greatest” technology, 3-D TV.

The panelists were also skeptical that Netflix’s recent announcement that it would launch a 4K product in the future would serve as a catalyst for cable, satellite and telco operators to accelerate their adoption of the technology.

Clark guessed that if an over-the-top provider could provide a better TV experience than a cable or satellite operator with 4K, it would create some concern on the part of those distributors, which in the past have prided themselves on the superior quality of their service.

Shapiro, however, was unmoved.

“It’s just another distribution vehicle,” Shapiro said of Netflix.