The price of 4K ultra high-definition (UHD) televisions has come down significantly over the past year or so but even still, many are finding it hard to justify purchasing a 4K set due to the simple fact that there isn’t much UHD content available yet.
Comcast already streams a selection of 4K content to some Samsung televisions through its Xfinity in UHD app. Later this year, the cable provider will be expanding the reach of its catalog with its first 4K-enabled set-top box.
The Xi4 will serve as the latest addition to Comcast’s Xfinity X1 platform. In its press release, the company said customers will be able to enjoy unlimited virtual 4K linear channels by creating personalized playlists from the Xfinity in UHD library.
Essentially, what this means is that Xi4 box users will be able to access the content that Samsung TV owners already get through the Xfinity in UHD app and arrange it in a playlist so it feels like a real channel. Comcast said it will add hundreds of titles to its catalog, many of which will be content originally screened in IMAX theaters (i.e., lots of documentaries). It’s certainly a step in the right direction but it doesn’t mean live 4K content is coming anytime soon.
Only a handful of outfits are providing 4K content and none of them are broadcast networks. In the meantime, we can turn to sources like Amazon and Netflix that provide some of their original content in UHD.
The latest buzzword surrounding television is HDR, or high dynamic range, and Comcast is already jumping on that bandwagon, too. The provider said it plans to launch a new HDR-enabled set-top box known as the Xi5 sometime in 2016 that'll provide increased color, contrast and brightness.
Lead image via The Verge