4K-Over-HDMI Prototyping System May Spur Quad HD TV Sets

Jonathan Sutton

Without a doubt, 2010 is the year for 3D TV. At least that’s the display technology TV makers are heavily marketing this year in order to shift more HDTVs in a difficult period when consumers are tightening their wallets due to the economic downturn. But sensing that the general public may not want to splash out on additional pairs of 3D glasses for every family member who wishes to watch 3D content on 3D televisions, some companies are turning their backs on 3D to explore another upgrade path compelling enough to persuade users to part with their hard-earned money.

These companies believe that 4k – also known as Quad HD – is the answer. The name itself gives the game away: it is a technology which delivers 4 times the resolution of a full HD 1920 x 1080 display, i.e. at 3840 x 2160 to be more precise. A higher video resolution should theoretically allow for an even more detailed and super-clear picture, all from the comfort of your seat at home.

Obviously before Quad HD/ 4k can take off, a number of hardware upgrades (ranging from the signal source to the final display unit) that support this super-high resolution technology needs to take place. A US-based firm has just taken the first step which may pave the way for more companies to develop Quad-HD-compatible devices.

Marseille Networks, a California-based company specialising in chip virtualisation and now Quad-HD video processing, has designed a 4K prototyping system that allows consumer electronics manufacturers to test various parts within the 4K signal-to-display video chain in a virtual environment without needing to physically assemble the actual chip. And the beauty of Marseille’s creation is that Quad HD/ 4k content can be transmitted over HDMI, which means that the prototyping system can be easily inserted into existing design sequences to shorten the product development cycle.

Marseille is currently making its Quad HD/ 4k prototyping system available on a limited basis to electronics manufacturers who are willing to take the first plunge in developing 4k devices such as Blu-ray players or AV receivers. The company’s CEO Amine Chabane expects its prototyping device to play an integral role in helping Quad HD/ 4k TV sets reach the marketplace by next year.