Washington, D.C. (June 25, 2013) -
Editor's Note: TV's
Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to
best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If
you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by
sending an e-mail to
Q. I was very
surprised to read your
article about the high-ranking
executives at HBO and ESPN questioning the future of 4K TV. Were
you? Seems like execs in our industry usually keep their mouths
shut or they give the party line that everything will be great,
right? -- Damon, Los Angeles.
Damon, you're not the first to point that out. I was surprised
and so were many people in the industry.
As background for readers who didn't read the article,
Chuck Pagano, ESPN's
CTO and EVP, told Multichannel News that he wasn't certain 4K TV
would be successful because the picture improvement over HDTV is
not noticeable unless you're sitting very close to the screen
and watching a very large screen set.
In March, Bob Zitter, HBO's tech guru, said basically the same
thing, adding he was "very skeptical' that consumers would buy
Now contrast Ziter and Pagano's remarks with the words of
industry execs when 3D TV was introduced more than three years
ago. It was difficult to find anyone in the industry who didn't
proclaim 3D TV to be the next big thing.
And I think that explains why you are getting such candor now
When 3D TV was launched, many industry executives put their
reputations (and perhaps their careers) on the line when they so
boldly embraced it, both publicly and privately. They told their
bosses that it would be a hit and, in some case, they persuaded
their higher-ups to invest significant company money in new 3D
But 3D TV was a huge failure, as witnessed by ESPN's
recent decision to close its 3D channel by year's end. And now
those executives who so enthusiastically pushed 3D TV have egg
on their faces.
Do you think they want a repeat performance with 4K TV?
No way. They're gun shy now and, consequently, will take a more
conservative stance in the media and in private with their
It makes sense, doesn't it? If they promoted 4K -- and it failed
-- they would be two-time losers and that could put their
jobs in jeopardy.
I'm not saying that Ziter and Pagano are expressing doubt for
this reason. I have no inside information to suggest that. But
what I am saying is that you will find fewer people in the
industry willing to put their necks on the line for 4K so soon
after the huge failure of 3D TV.
See More Answers From the TV Answer Man!