One of the most exciting trends popping up in the industry is the move toward Ultra HD (4K) for devices ranging from mobile applications such as smartphones and tablets all the way to desktop PCs, monitors and TVs. 4K is the next step following Full HD, which has over a 50% penetration in TVs shipped globally and over 70% in mobile devices shipped. In 2015, all of these devices will have seen 4K pop up in one way or the other, with the biggest growth occurring in the TV sector due to an estimated 20% penetration rate for overall TVs shipped globally during the year.
Supply chains associated with all mobile and desktop/TV applications know the trends say higher resolution and increased connectivity in order to push hardware sales. Likewise, software developers know that as device competition becomes more competitive so is the software experiences in which people enjoy games such as online casinos. For many gamblers who have been online playing for years, HD and Full HD resolution for games such as roulette are a thing of the past and need to be revamped in order to bring more value to the industry as well as keep up with industry trends.
4K-compatible casino software will fall in 2016 from vendors such as Royal Vegas and Platinum Play when devices are expected to be 4K compatible across the board. Currently, the largest segment for 4K viewing and data can be found in the TV segment, which panel makers are pushing in order to bum up sales of large-size panels. The larger the size the panel sold the higher the profit margin for these supply chains so it is no wonder that the largest-size device in the market is featuring the technology first. Thus, TV and movie developers are following in suite through releasing 4K content and other applications.
As 4K TV panel supply becomes readily available, the industry will see a push toward other devices such as smartphones and tablets, which have lower panel surface area but are nevertheless an important factor for supply chains’ overall revenues. In turn, mobile Apps will also follow in 4K, which includes aps from iTunes and other software applications including augmented reality and virtual reality apps. 2016 will be the major push for these developments as 2015 is still the main focus for TV applications.
In 2016 most smartphone vendors including Apple and Samsung are expected to have 4K mobile devices. The vendors were originally planning for 2015 but due to supply chain constraints will be pushed to 2016. During this year the casino industry will have a golden opportunity to push forth 4K games to make a new dent in the industry as well as push forth new demand for players who have become too accustomed and bored to the past playing methods seen over the last 5-10 years in HD and Full HD formats. We expect to see Royal Vegas take the first move in pushing 4K casino games but wouldn’t be surprised if Spin Palace or Platinum Play took the lead.
The other great thing about 4K is that it turns 3D imagery into Full HD viewing. At present, if any games is in Full HD but has 3D playing options the resolution is cut in half and overall sacrificed due to compression in frame packing. With 4K, however, you can make the most of the Full HD 3D experience and in some cases may be able to view 4K 3D imagery provided the transmission is programmed to reduce the effect of frame packing. We hope in 2016 casino vendors will take this into consideration and not only release 4K compatible games but also 3D ones. Combining the two would be a dream.
If you want to start getting a feel for what 4K is like, you can try out several devices already in the market such as the iMac 5K with Retina Display and watch some type of 4K content. Better yet, you could try out or buy a 4K compatible TV and watch content that is readily available on Netflix and other applications and then later download or access a smart TV gambling App from Platinum Play that can be found on the vendor’s website. By simply accessing the web browser on the smart TV and navigating to the casino’s home page you can play from your TV with the remote controller or a built in device. Alternatively, you could connect your computer to the smart TV via a cable or OTB such as Apple TV in which the transmission is sent wirelessly. These allow the gamer to experience casino playing from their living room like never before and do so from the comfort of their own TV where they can also access a variety of music and TV shows. We recommend ant of the Samsung Smart TVs but units from Sony and LG are also very impressive.