Barco gave the first big public demonstration of 4K at ShowEast in the nearby Downtown Disney AMC theatre. It was one of those times where one is reminded that Texas Instruments is a chip manufacturer, not a projector manufacturer. To wow audiences in such events, TI hired industry veteran Loren Nielsen to edit a show reel for 4K demonstrations. Loren has created spectacular demo reels for TI in years past. But it appears TI didn’t have the budget for this one. They shied away from asking Sony Pictures for content, which left little to choose from. The result was a demo reel consisting of dark scenes with dull colors and little of the detail that one would expect to see in 4K. TI would have been better off hiring Loren to direct a cinematographer to shoot real 4K.
Not one to be quiet about such things, your author approached TI and Barco about the less-than-spectacular demo reel. The response was that the lack of interesting content was symptomatic of the content industry’s lack of commitment to the format. But what about TI’s commitment?
TI is a chip manufacturer. It knows how to risk a million on the development of a 4K micro-machined chip and sell it to its licensees. The thought of helping its licensees market their 4K products leads to unfamiliar territory. Reality is a shame. This was TI’s opportunity to wow audiences with its first new technology introduction in over 5 years. It’s an opportunity that will repeat itself at Cine Asia in December, and again at CinemaCon in March. Hopefully they’ll have found someone who knows how to shoot something lovely in 4K by then.
The less-than-spectacular content aside, the demonstration still provided an opportunity to walk up to the screen and study the pixels. The surprise was that there no pixels to see. Holding up the perfunctory white card in front of the screen, there was nothing to observe but solid color.
Give this projector some content with color and contrast, and one should see a fabulous picture. But to get there, someone should first send TI a book on marketing.