This has probably happened to you. You’ve just downloaded all the footage from your latest event and you realize half of your audience is asking for 4k resolution, and they want it all in two days. Your first response might be “I don’t follow, why do we need 4k videos? And what exactly is 4k anyway?”
A better answer would be to come back at those members of your audience by matching them geek-for-geek. For example, you could say “we’re going to need four more Thunderbolt cables to get that done…” or “wow, yeah we’re not there yet but I hear that the Nvidia GTX1080 card allow you to play 8k at quarter-sized frame rate…”
In short, you geek them out.
The “Trickle Up” of Consumer Tech
Even if you never find yourself battling things out with techies in your company, it is still important to understand the technologies that are driving consumer and corporate expectations. There is a link between what the consumer purchases at Best Buy for their home and the expectations your company will have for your corporate events—we call it the “trickle up” effect.
It is predicted, for example, that 2017 might be the tipping point for 4k TVs -and possibly VR. If that happens, you WILL need a lot more horsepower on the production side of things—whether you run an event marketing firm or manage a corporate department.
Here are two key technologies that will trickle up from the consumer side of things this season:
- Video produced in 4k resolution or UHD
- Virtual Reality | Augmented Reality.
When you go shopping for a new TV this Christmas everyone is pitching UHD. What would have cost $40,000 (that is not a typo) in 2014 is now available for about $500.00 in a 54-inch TV set. The easiest way to understand Ultra High Definition or 4K TVS and monitors over Full High Definition FHD TVs and monitors is that 4k offers 4 times more image detail than FHD—or technically 4320 lines on your screen vs. 1080 lines. UHD resolution is what makes Virtual Reality possible.
About Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality is a buzz phrase that refers to the viewing of, and participation in, 3 dimensional “experiences.” While the consumer giants like Samsung and Google race to create the new standard for VR headsets, it is important to understand that VR can involve ANY immersive experience, which includes “augmented reality” like the now defunct PokemonGo game that essentially layered 3d images over a 2d digital map or image of an area.
You can pick up a high-end VR headset for anywhere between $99.00--$500.00 in 2017. You can also download an app on your phone for VR and turn your phone into a console of sorts with a free cardboard headset from Google and others. And, these prices will continue to plummet in 2018.
Back to Reality
Before you rush out and replace all your corporate monitors with high-end Sony Bravias and score Occulus viewers for your next big event there’s still a big issue with this UHD, VR, AR, etc. stuff. – or the lack of 4k content. While the economics of the delivery devices for UHD|VR suddenly make sense, there continues to be a dearth of content to watch and/or experience.
The production technology for UHD and VR continues to be extremely expensive for content creators. It eats up storage, demands lighting fast processing and special cameras to capture images and motion (think 10 to 15 GoPro cameras arranged in an “orb” that looks like a satellite).
There is also a problem with the disorienting aspects of VR, or the fact that it makes people feel a little queasy rather quickly.
Finally, if you have watched a movie in 4k (which is hard to avoid these days at Best Buy) you will notice that it looks more like a bad sitcom from public television at times—and offers a little too much realism. There is a reason for this which goes back to how movies were shown 50 years ago and how the “cinematic look” is perceived as higher quality today—it has to do with the difference between 24 frames per second in a film and 60 frames per second—but we’re not going to geek out on that just yet.
Hope you enjoyed the insights in this post— if you'd like to do a better job of running your proprietary events, we recommend our free downloadable whitepaper: