4K Advertising Face-Off #4

The AV industry has been reacting to the new Ultra HD or 4k resolution displays and many have brought up concerns about the “availability of content.” In this series, we will face off the resolution of a 4k Planar UltraRes with a variety of common advertising platforms to illustrate that experienced graphic designers, advertisers, and brands have no problem creating “beyond HD” content and in fact, have been doing it for decades.

In this fourth and final battle round, we compare the Planar® UltraRes 84” LCD display with a standard size outdoor billboard. For this analysis we used a CBS Outdoor example in Las Vegas, NV.

The Planar UltraRes measures 84” diagonal, or more than 6 feet across (in landscape, although the product can also be mounted in portrait for life-size impact). The pixel resolution of the display is 4x full HD or 3,840 pixels wide by 2,160 pixels tall.

Outdoor advertising can trace its linage back to the earliest civilizations and the American roadside advertisements date back to the mid 1800’s with painted sizes selling horse blankets, rheumatism pills, and upcoming attractions, like the circus. In 1900, a standard billboards structure was established that allowed national advertisers to run one ad from coast-to-coast. This is when the big advertisers like Palmolive, Kellogg, and Coca-Cola made outdoor part of their national marketing efforts.

We used the standard billboard size measuring 24’ wide and 14’ tall. The artwork is specified for a visual area of just 6” by 3.5” (and they will scale up 40 times to fill the actual billboard at a very coarse resolution). At the recommended 500 dots per inch for digital files, the files would measure 3000 pixels wide and 1750 pixels tall. To compare different aspect ratios, we can multiply the width and height to achieve a total pixel count.

In the final tally, the resolution of a full-page spread in the New York Times requires a file that about 63% of the size that is required for native resolution on an UltraRes display, but is still 153% the resolution of a full HD display.

If the aspect ratios were compatible, upscaling a outdoor billboard advertisement to a Planar UltraRes display would look nearly twice as good as a full HD (1920 x 1080) image on the screen which customers do all the time and the Planar UltraRes supports with it’s 8 distinct inputs all capable of 4k and 1080p input and the unique MediaPlex features.