Each frame a 35-megapixel photo: JVC develops next-gen Super Hi-Vision
May 9, 2008 1080p high definition might be well and good for your average lounge room TV screen, but cinema projectors need to offer something vastly more impressive if the movies are going to continue to offer a bigger, clearer and more impressive viewing experience than your average cashed-up punter can now get at home. The new ultra-high res standard would now appear to be set with Super Hi-Vision: 7,680 pixels across by 4,320 pixels high (approximately 32-megapixel images) - and JVC have now released a video projector capable of showing 35 megapixels at once. The 8K4K JVC D-ILA (Direct-Drive Image Light Amplifier) has a resolution more than 17 times the level of standard HDTV, and is now the highest-resolution projection display device on the planet.
The meteoric rise of 1080p high-definition as the standard for home TV sets has made it clear to manufacturers that even the average family is willing to spend previously unheard-of amounts of money to put high quality video displays in the lounge room. But when everybody has HDTV, where do you go for the next level up?
When Super Hi-Vision was launched at NAB2006, there was huge consumer interest in this new format with 16 times the resolution of HD; with each frame the equivalent of a 32-megapixel photo, even large presentations could be completely immersive. It's worth remembering that HD itself is only a little over 20 years old, and when it made its debut in the 1980s there was little in the way of transmission or data storage to make it a practical home device. The situation is similar for us today looking at the Super Hi-Vision format; we don't have the bandwidth or the storage media to play movies at 16 times the current definition - but we will, soon enough.
One thing we do now have is the projection technology to output Super Hi-Vision, with JVC's recent announcement that it has managed to cram 35 megapixels of resolution into a 1.75-inch DILA projection device. This is the highest resolution ever offered by a projection device, and it also offers an excellent 20,000:1 contrast ratio.
JVC clearly sees the "beyond HD" market as a high growth area, not just for digital cinema, but in presentations, monitoring and medical applications as well. And yes, there are apparently proposals underway to make Super Hi-Vision a future TV broadcasting standard. So start saving for your next home cinema upgrade, because it's going to be a whopper!