Back in the late 1990s, everyone was concerned about Y2K. Many questions swirled around the year 2000 computer bug. Will there be a worldwide blackout? Is my Windows 95 computer going to crash? Will my calculator watch explode when it changes from ’99 to ’00? Well, we survived the Millennium Bug and have made major advancements in technology since then. Twenty years later and we are now asking Y4K. That is, why do we need ultra-high definition 4K video conferencing? Recently, Lifesize unveiled the world’s first and only global 4K video conferencing solution. But why now? Why do we need 4K video, and what businesses would benefit from the new advancements in video conferencing technology?
What is 4K?
First, we need to understand what 4K is and the difference between 4K and 1080p HD. 4K got its name because the images are around 4,000 pixels wide. However, the industry named 1080p resolution after the image height. Welcome to the future — it’s confusing here. What’s more important to understand is the image quality difference. 4K has double the line resolution and four times the pixels as 1080p HD. This means 4K technology produces the most intricate of details in a noticeably higher contrast. Lines are sharper, curves are smoother and the level of detail is far greater. Viewers can sit close to their screens and still enjoy a crystal clear picture without seeing the pixilation that occurs with lower-definition videos.
But there’s one more level of complexity to understand when it comes to HD video conferencing. HD also applies to 720p, which is the resolution that most video conferencing providers support. 4K Ultra HD is eight times the resolution as 720p HD.
Who needs 4K video conferencing?
Ultra-high definition 4K video conferencing will appeal to businesses that work with fine levels of detail. As a video producer, I’ve always dreaded having to share my latest production work on a conference call. The video was usually pixilated, and the audio and video were often out of sync. Even though I knew viewers expected this, I usually ended the conference call with a disclaimer that the actual video looks much better. With ultra-high definition 4K full-motion screen sharing, there is no longer a need to apologize. The quality and fine details of your work are maintained. In addition to creative services, medical and manufacturing industries will immediately want 4K in order to share intricate content and enable instant, engaging collaboration. Global companies that have multiple offices, do business with clients from around the world and have remote employees will also see immediate benefits in 4K video conferencing. The brilliant quality makes video meetings truly lifelike and eliminates the stress, time and money waste associated with commuting to and from in-person meetings. Whether recruiting top talent, connecting face to face with new customers or strengthening your internal global communication culture, 4K video conferencing lets you present your business in the best light with crystal clear image quality and exceptional audio clarity.
Future-proof meeting rooms with 4K
4K is already here. Consumer 4K TVs, cameras and streaming services are all now available and becoming the standard over 720p and 1080p. However, 4K video conferencing services are a bit more complicated. The new Lifesize® Icon 700™ conference room system was designed from the ground up to support 4K video conferencing, but just as it would be impossible for NASCAR drivers to reach their max speeds on unpaved roads, the Lifesize cloud architecture needed to be redesigned to support encoding and decoding 4K video data. With a complete overhaul of its global cloud service architecture, Lifesize made it possible to support the world’s first true live 4K video call with 4K full-motion content sharing. With this breakthrough technology, Lifesize has redefined the expectations for video conferencing. Cloud services offered by competing companies, like Webex, Zoom and Bluejeans, downgrade the stream quality to 720p even if you use a 4K video camera.
People no longer buy 720p or even 1080p TVs for their home. They are buying 4K TVs because they’re the best, they’re future proof and the prices can't be beaten. Similarly, 4K video conferencing technology will be a future-proof solution for anyone who wants the absolute best quality communication for years to come.