One of my biggest takeaways from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show was that 1080p TVs are rapidly going extinct, replaced in nearly every size from 40 to 80 inches by 4K Ultra HD models. This was confirmed at this year’s show, where the only non-4K TVs were outliers in the 90-inch-and-beyond region…or the 8K “visions of the future” that manufacturers displayed to prove they aren’t resting on their laurels.
The problem with 4K, however, remains content. Now that you can get a pretty sweet 55-inch 4K TV in the vicinity of $1,000, what are you going to watch on it? Sure, there’s a smattering of titles on Netflix and Amazon, but streaming 4K isn’t without its own challenges—or compromises, including rather massive data compression. Dish and DirecTV are looking to roll out 4K coverage (DirecTV had the world’s first 4K broadcast of the Masters golf tournament this year) and offer a small amount of pay-per-view content, but this also involves significant compression and very limited selection. Ultra HD Blu-ray is making its way onto the scene, but while picture quality has been mostly hailed as terrific, the current selection of titles has been mostly meh, and many people have sworn off adopting another form of physical media. Furthermore, Ultra HD Blu-ray still comes with all the traditional limitations of disc-based media— the required shelf space, the usual get-up-and-put-it-in-the-player routine, etc. For those looking for the ultimate in picture quality, features, and luxury movie theater performance, Kaleidescape submits the new Strato for approval.
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