4K Television

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More than a few prognosticators have predicted in recent years that sometime soon going to see movies in theaters is going to be a thing of the past, and watching movies at home is going to be the standard of the future. Half of that viewpoint stems from the problems moviegoers have with poorly projected films and unruly patrons ruining their multiplex experiences, and the other half comes from the conveniences of having gigantic HD screens and digital content delivery available right in our homes. What sane person wants to pay theater prices to leave their house and have their movie interrupted by someone else’s cellphone when they can stay at home and watch the industry’s latest in crystal clear clarity, right from the comfort of the butt groove they’ve worked so hard to wear into their couch? Well, people who really love movies and the communal nature of moviegoing might, and there are a number of strategies that theaters can probably take to maintain their relevance moving ahead into the future, but let’s not jump into that argument today. Instead, let’s think about those ultra-fancy, ultra-convenient home theaters of the future, and try to get an idea of what they might eventually look like, thanks to recent innovations from two companies who are working hard to make sure that their offerings become staples of your future entertainment diet—Samsung and Netflix.

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On Charlie Rose last night, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes explained his desire to shorten the time between theatrical releases and home entertainment availability. His reason? It’s great for everyone ever. It makes sense that Time Warner (which owns New Line, Warner Bros., HBO, DC Comics, Castle Rock Entertainment, and other media ventures) would want to shorten the window. Bewkes evoked the dreaded P-word in his initial rationale for getting movies to television screens sooner, but he also recognized that there’s an audience beyond pirates that wants to have home-viewing options. “Everyone in the business, including theater owners, has an interest,” said Bewkes. But what exactly is in the theater owners’ best interest? And what will broadband bundled with shorter waiting periods mean for DVD and Blu-ray?

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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