BrightSign Doesn’t Want 4K to Get a ‘Bad Name’

Launching at ISE 2014, BrightSign 4K boasts native 4K with H.265 codec and HDMI 2.0 standard.

Tom LeBlanc

BrightSign is unveiling its 4K digital signage media player during Integrated Systems Europe 2014, calling the BrightSign 4K the “first to deliver a true end-to-end 4K solution that accepts H.265-encoded content and delivers 60 fps output via HDMI 2.0.”

Those features, says director of marketing Ann Holland, set it apart from other 4K players that BrightSign expects to be unveiled during Digital Signage Expo 2014, February 12-13 in Las Vegas.

BrightSign “has looked into the specs,” she says and knows of no other solid-state digital signage player on the market that meets true 4K Ultra HD standards.

Those standards, adds BrightSign CEO Jeff Hastings, are “the H.265 codec to keep file sizes down and HDMI 2.0 standard to get all of the bits to the display.”

Hastings goes on to emphasize why BrightSign is touting its high standards for 4K versus perceived lower standards by its competitors:

“4K is the buzzword, so everyone wants to jump on that bandwagon. So they’re trying to take older technology like H.264 with HDMI 1.4 and trying to throw it together to have a player at 30 frames per second and claiming 4K. And the big thing is, No. 1, we’ve invested a lot in this technology to bring it to market, but to make sure that 4K doesn’t get a bad name.

“[It’s] a little bit like when HD first came out and the marketers got a little bit ahead of the technology. If you think back to 2001, 2002, it was like ‘HD, HD, HD.’ Well, we later only found out that what they were selling us was really only 720p and not the 1080i that everybody later realized as the real HD.

“And I’m a little bit worried about that on the 4K side. If you take 4K and you’re only doing it as up sampling or you’re only doing 4K at 30 frames per second or you’re reducing the bit rate down to something that H.264 can handle, most people will [say] that doesn’t look any better than 1080p. And they’re right. What we’re trying to do is make sure people really understand that in 4K you really have to have all of these things come together to have real 4K. Otherwise, you’re going to be disappointed.

“We’ve seen the good stuff, and once you’ve seen the good stuff, you’re like, ‘wow, 4K is amazing.'”

BrightSign 4K
BrightSign 4K digital signage player

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