In the UK, 4K TV might be mostly limited to sports and films for now, but that's not stopping the TV industry from getting prepared for the future.
An industry association has published a set of standards for future 4K TV broadcasts – they're only guidelines rather than set-in-stone specifications, but they still paint a pretty rosy picture of the future of TV.
Broadcasts should have a high frame rate (100 or 120fps), as well as dynamic HDR. HDR stands for high dynamic range, a technology that enhances the differences between the light and dark parts of the picture. It makes the image more lifelike, and hence more immersive.
On the audio front, Dolby AC-4 and MPEG-H would provide adaptable sound for everything from a cinema-style speaker set-up to a standard pair of headphones.
All this will be enabled by Content Aware Encoding. This is where encoders reduce the amount of data – and hence bandwidth – used in stationary scenes.
If it all comes to pass, 4K TV should look absolutely stunning. Hopefully it won't be long before more broadcasters get on board.