How are you approaching 4K content on single screens?
4K or Ultra-HD (UHD) with a screen resolution of 3840 x 2160 is four times the number of pixels as the more widely adopted 1080p standard. While the visual quality is clearly superior and beautiful, the downside is these displays are significantly more expensive than 1080p displays, especially within the commercial grade product needed for digital signage. High-quality 4K content can be harder to obtain and more expensive to create as well. When dealing with large video walls that have content that will span across multiple displays, 4K resolution content is a must, allowing each individual display within the video wall to maintain higher resolutions. When dealing with single screen content, however, the extra costs still don’t have quite the same payoff or ROI for most customers.
So what does this mean for content creation and determining the best resolution to build it at?
Some content that might have a longer life span and be displayed on a 4K screen in the near future or perhaps be re-purposed across both video wall and single screen canvases would make sense to build in 4K. This, of course, would directly be impacted by the client’s willingness to spend a bit extra on the content and that available working source assets exist in high enough resolutions. In some cases, keeping as much of the working content at higher resolutions using smart objects within some Adobe tools that still retain the higher resolution source information or using vector-based content that can also scale smoothly or even responsive HTML content that can scale up or down would allow the ability to more easily produce higher resolution content if required.
The adoption rate for single screen 4K content within the digital signage industry is moving a bit slower than most would desire, but it is increasing more each day with the price of the hardware dropping more and more.
As much as we are all in a hurry to embrace higher resolutions and create more visually stunning content, the driving factor today remains the ROI to the brand displaying the content in HD vs. UHD.