NAB: The 4K Ripple Effect Makes Waves for TV

Cameras, standards evolve for TV’s new ultra HD format

Consumer electronics companies are hoping 4K Ultra High Definition TV will be the next big thing, but parts of the TV biz are proceeding like it’s already here.

The newfangled sets aren’t even in U.S. living rooms yet, but already select TV pilots are being shot by Sony Pictures Television with digital-cinema cameras to future-proof the programming for the time when 4K is commonplace. Cabler 3Net, in which Sony is a partner, is future-proofing with its Total D strategy, creating versions of its programs in 2D and 3D at 4K, 2K and HD resolution.

Netflix’s “House of Cards,” CBS’ “Criminal Minds” and FX’s “Justified” are among the growing list of shows shot with the Red Epic.

American Society of Cinematographers technology committee chair Curtis Clark finds the cameras even delivers superior results for today’s HDTV presentations. “It also has an advantage when you’re down-converting that to HD,” he says. “You’re super-sampling or oversampling an image and getting the advantage of that. In a sense it’s like when you scan motion-picture film and show it in HD.”

Such 4K cameras as the Sony F65 and F55 and the Red Epic weren’t made for broadcasting, but high-resolution cameras have quickly found a home in TV sports. Shooting with a 4K camera gives lots of extra pixels to zoom in for replays and still get a full HD TV image, not a fuzzy, pixilated picture.

“Not only can we use the F65s that way, we’ve been using Phantom cameras and other extreme high-speed cameras to do slow motion for sports broadcasting, and it gives us some very effective new looks at an old product,” says David Stump, chair of the camera subcommittee at ASC.

Sony F65 CineAlta
Recording option: 4K, QFHD, 2K, HD
Bit count: 16-bit Analog-to-Digital conversion
Shooting speed: 1-120 fps (adjustable in one-frame increments)
Sensor: 8K
Pixel count: 20 megapixels
Latitude: 14 stops

Red Epic
Recording options: RAW (5K; 4.5K; 4K; 3K; 2K; 1080p; 720p
Bit count: 12 and 16-bit
Shooting speed: 1-120 fps 5K, 4.5K; 1-150 fps 4K; 1-200 fps 3K; 1-300 fps 2K
Sensor: 5K
Pixel count: 14 megapixels
Latitude: 13.5 stops

Sony F55 CineAlta

Recording option: RAW (4K or derived 2K)
Bit count: 16-bit
Shooting speed: 60 fps out of the box; 180 fps with planned upgrade
Sensor: 8K
Pixel count: 8.9 megapixels
Latitude: 14 stops

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Copyright

    Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Massive Copyright Infringement

    Eminem’s publishing company Eight Mile Style filed a major copyright infringement lawsuit against Spotify late Thursday, claiming that the streaming giant has no license to host about 250 of Eminem’s songs, while also taking aim at the Music Modernization Act, the federal law enacted last year to improve royalty payments for songwriters. The news was [...]

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    China’s iQIYI in Talks for Indonesia Expansion

    Chinese streaming firm iQIYI is in negotiations to expand further into Southeast Asia through a venture with Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra. iQIYI announced its first step outside Chinese-majority territories in June, when it revealed a linkup in Malaysia with pay-TV leader Astro. It also operates in Taiwan. In April, the company said that it planned [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify Triples Free-Trial Period on Premium Service

    Spotify today extended the free-trial period for its Premium service from one month to three, tripling the amount of time listeners can take full advantage of the streaming giant’s offerings without paying for them. According to the announcement, the offer is “always-on/not limited time,” and will roll out across Spotify Premium plans globally: Individual and [...]

  • The Ringer Promotes Sean Fennessey, Mallory

    The Ringer Promotes Sean Fennessey, Mallory Rubin to Top Editorial Roles

    Mallory Rubin and Sean Fennessey have been promoted to top editorial posts at The Ringer, the pop culture and sports website and podcast network. Fennessey has been named chief content officer and Rubin has been named editor in chief. Both editors have been with The Ringer since it launched in 2016. Fennessey previously served as [...]

  • RihannaFenty Beauty By Rihanna Launch, Madrid,

    Rihanna's Diamond Ball Will Honor Activist Shaun King, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley

    Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and civil rights activist Shaun King will receive this year’s Diamond Ball Award at Rihanna’s fifth annual Diamond Ball, which will also feature performances from Pharrell and DJ Khaled. “I can’t imagine a better night than this year’s Clara Lionel Foundation event with Seth Meyers, Pharrell and DJ Khaled,” said [...]

  • Rules Don't Apply

    Warren Beatty and Arnon Milchan Settle Suit Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Arnon Milchan and Warren Beatty have settled their two-year legal battle over the disastrous release of “Rules Don’t Apply,” Beatty’s period drama about Howard Hughes. Milchan’s attorneys have filed a notice with the court dismissing his suit against Beatty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milchan’s company, New Regency, sued Beatty and other investors [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content