There have been recent announcements touting new displays capable of resolutions far in excess of 1080p. While there are some 4K products currently available (such as commercial-style projectors), it’s a little tough to wrap my mind around a consumer display with that many pixels. For one thing, the content delivered over existing broadcast methods (cable, satellite, over-the-air) maxes out at 1080i, and at best is sent at 15-17 mbps (and often much less than that). Imagine the bandwidth requirements to stream a 4K film through cable or satellite.
Blu-ray provides 1080p content, but it is a new technology that is struggling to get a toehold in the marketplace, when plain old DVD is just fine with many viewers. Then there’s the issue of recording content available at those higher resolutions. The cost of cameras capable of recording mega-ultra-jumbo HD is enough to give TV networks ulcers. Plus, I doubt we’ll be seeing displays with those resolutions at Wal-Mart anytime in the near future.
I’m impressed with the engineering skill involved in creating beyond-HD technology. Hopefully, the research will lead to advances in providing high quality 1080p HD via existing distribution methods. But I won’t be holding off on my next purchase waiting for a 4K television.