- The HCE Video Series
The story below was originally published on Theo’s Roundtable, for which I am contributing writer.
Having recently returned from CES 2013 in Las Vegas, the trend I found most disturbing at the show was just how readily people were willing to—as well as encourage others to—part with safe viewing habits in order to see 4K in all its splendor. Looking past the arguments for and against 4K in the home for a moment, the issue I saw at CES was one of health and safety—specifically with regards to viewers’ ocular health.
One of the key selling points to 4K in the home is that it will let you quite literally get closer to the action without having to endure visible pixels. But just because 4K may afford you the ability to sit closer to your TV set, that doesn’t mean you should. At CES, viewers were literally viewing 4K displays of all sizes with their noses mere inches from the screen in an attempt to catch manufacturers napping on their claims. Countless super-close-up shots were taken of the various 4K displays in attempt to communicate to non-attendees just how fine 4K’s resolution is. The problem with these approaches to viewing—and reporting—is that neither is realistic, let alone safe.
Manufacturers want you to get up-close and personal with their 4K displays because it’s the best chance they’ll have to get you to see, and thus quantify, the difference between 4K and HD resolution. But, in doing so, they’re potentially creating a dangerous situation in that viewers will now be sitting closer than ever to brighter and brighter displays, which will result not just in fatigue but an increased risk of ocular damage. Just because a display is 4K doesn’t mean normal viewing practices should be ignored.
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