It was inevitable that super high-definition televisions would soon be previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show and then pushed onto the consumer market. But while it brings back shades of when high-definition televisions and Blu-ray technology were excitedly introduced to America not all that long ago, the mindset of the American populace is much different now. Other than other gadgets we love to see evolve, how we view our movies and TV at home has just now settled into a comfortable spot with most consumers.
That, of course, is a possible death sentence to all the international brands selling existing high-definition TV's when nearly every American already owns a 1080p model, some with Smart TV capability. In fact, you can recently find small-screen HDTV's in 1080p for as little as $200 in most retail stores. Even then, you don't see electronic store aisles crowded with people gazing dreamingly into a high-definition screen playing a Pixar movie as you did just five years ago.
With that, we see the real reason why the new 4K OLED televisions will be on the market before Christmas 2013. And with everything pro and con mainstream consumers already know about watching movies in high-definition, we're going to see a real test of what the future of movies will look like in our homes. For those enamored of only watching movies fresh out of the production chute, it may be a godsend.
However, let's not forget about those who are so observant of details, the magic of movies (new and especially old) could inevitably be ruined with a 4K resolution.
A case in point to this is in recent online thoughts about the use of 48 frames per second tech in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." A building consensus seems to be saying that 48 fps removes the magic of film and shows flaws you ordinarily wouldn't see in 24 fps. The counterargument is one of having such complete awe at the overall presentation that it doesn't matter if flaws are evident.
And there's something to be said in the latter argument, even if that novelty may wear off over time as people become adjusted cerebrally to higher frame and pixel rates. Unfortunately, when OLED TV's are demonstrated at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas this week, they'll likely only screen modern movies on them to wow everyone into making it an essential Christmas purchase. What they won't likely do is show older movies that could technically suffer on an OLED TV.
So many classic films going back 70 to 80 years have been released on Blu-ray in the last couple of years. Many of those (e.g. "The Wizard of Oz") have been noted to have a little of their sheen removed due to the higher resolution exposing strings and other makeshift effects of the era. In totality, film buffs realize anything above 1080p for those films would look annoyingly grainy rather than expose coveted details.
The above is the cinematic ethical dilemma of OLED TV's in the future once they become a standard part of our living rooms. It's either that or future homes will require designated rooms with different TV's: An OLED for new movies, a 1080p for older films, and perhaps a surviving analog TV in another room for those who still want all movie magic covered up with the gauze of standard definition.