This month, Canadians were introduced to 4K sports broadcasting. For the uninitiated, 4K is the evolution of high definition television. It’s more pixels, sharper, and just flat out better. Head out and find yourself a 4K television to sample, it’s incredible. Basically, 4K television is the equivalent of 2160P using the naming conventions of the current 1080P.
But who cares? 1080P is pretty sharp, and the switch from 4:3 ratio to 16:9 made the area you could see much larger. This was huge for all sports, but specifically the Big Four. When watching your favorite game at a bar or your house, nobody was saying “boy, I sure wish this picture was better.” It was already incredible. So why 4K? The cynic in me says it’s to quicken the upgrade cycle in televisions. 3D did nothing for the consumer electronics industry, and as margins erode for television manufacturers and retailers, they had to do something to make you want to buy more televisions. So let’s say you’re interested enough, how much is it for the average consumer to get 4K?
Well, you’ll need a 4K television, 4K receiver, and 4K channels. So:
4K Television – $1,700 (Yes, you can get a cheaper one, but a decent mid-range TV is around $1,700)
4K Receiver – $599 (Bell Fibe TV has this as the quoted price, plus an install fee I’m certain nobody will ever pay)
4K Service – It’s hard to nail down the pricing for 4K at this point. It may be a premium like HD was or maybe it’ll be a value add to limit the “cord cutters”. Nevertheless, let’s just say it’s going to be around $75 per month (or maybe you’ll bundle with internet for ~$129)
In total, you’re looking at $2,300 in hard costs, and maybe a small increase in monthly costs. Is that worth it for a few Raptors games and HNiC right away? From a pure sports perspective, probably not yet. However, it’s coming and it’s the next hot thing. We’ll be covering the 4K revolution more and more here at Sports Business Canada as more details and programming becomes available.
Do you have 4K? Do you have questions? Get us on Twitter @SportsBizCanada.