Why HD is history and 4K , the way to go

Most new TVs above 50 inch,  come in Ultra High Definition -- 4 times sharper than  HD, but where is the  4K video content to match it? Simple,  shoot your own!

By Anand Parthasarathy
June 24 2014: The great  Canada-born media guru, Marshall McLuhan, used to say: "If it works, it's obsolete!"  Buyers in India who might have invested in a jumbo-sized television set last year -- that is 50 inch or bigger -- will ruefully empathize.  They were told that  LED TVs with high definition (HD) -- capable of viewing all those Blu-ray DVDs was in the 'in' thing.
Now, all that is  history.  UHD or Ultra High Definition  effectively quadruples the number of pixels or coloured dots in a HD picture of the same size. This is  also confusingly referred to as 4K.  In the strict sense, UHD  is the standard for displays, while 4K is  the standard that video producers use to create UHD content. There is a small difference in the actual number of pixels  that define UHD and 4K but it is too small to bother about: both  are around 8 million pixels, compared to 2 million you get with HD.
So much for the numbers. In reality, there is virtually no  content in 4K / UHD out there. Last week at the CommunicAsia show in Singapore, visitors could see an experimental transmission  of a football match  beamed from London in 4K -- to  large screen TVs from Sony, Samsung and LG.  These makers will tell you  that even with  HD  content, a UHD display will auto sharpen the image -- but that is   like saying, you can  upscale  flat video into feeling like 3-D.
This situation will change -- fast -- in two ways. One:  the ridiculous asking prices for UHD TVs -- upward of Rs 2 lakhs, will fall sharply with demand. Two: With 4K TV transmissions some years away, you will  find content providers  'upscaling' all those old  movies and TV shows  to UHD standards, for a price. Meanwhile  there is a way out for UHD TV owners anxious to   get their hands on matching content -- Do It Yourself! 
I recently got to try out  the Sony XPeria Z2 smartphone one of the earliest in India, with  the ability to shoot video in full 4K ( 3840 x 2160 pixels). When coupled with its  20.7 megapixel camera,  and a suite of  cool editing tools -- like "Background defocus", the ability to blur the background like  the pros; and "Timeshift" which lets you shoot a one-minute  burst at high speed and then select the ones you want to create slow motion effect -- this is the closest I've ever  come to a phone which thinks it's a handycam!
Why would I spend another Rs 30,000 or more on a bulky handycam when my phone  lets me shoot at higher resolutions than 95% of the handycams out there? And in these monsoon months, it  makes sense that the Z2 is waterproof -- in fact they encourage you to shoot while swimming! I'm not saying the Z2  is  the only phone today    to capture video in 4K. But its combo of features including things like NFC or Near Field Communication,  helps you exploit a host of cool accessories including a  Rs 5000-value Smart Band for the wrist  that they are bundling for free in the asking price of just under Rs 50,000.