Wednesday, January 4, 2017
LG has announced a "4K high resolution" sound bar that makes no sense
Of all the inventions we get to see here at CES, the least appreciated ones are often linguistic. Take LG’s glorious example today: the Korean company has used some absolutely arbitrary math to justify slapping a "4K High Resolution" claim on its latest soundbar, the SJ9. If you listen to two channels of 24-bit/96kHz audio, you wind up with a data stream of more than 4,000kbps. 24 x 96,000 x 2 = 4,608,000 bits per second.
But is 4K resolution on TVs related to the data being processed per second? No. It refers to the horizontal resolution of a display — the count of pixels — and it’s not particularly precise, either. A bunch of TVs with resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 get away with calling themselves "4K," because that’s in the general vicinity of 4,000 pixels. But pixels don’t exist in the audio realm and such a thing as a 4K speaker cannot exist. Except it does now, because LG has no respect for the sanctity of language or the usefulness of consumer-friendly tech taxonomy.