It's time for Apple to consider pixel quality as well as pixel quantity

The TV/computer screen buzz lately is about Ultra High Def/4K displays. However, when considering new monitors (and, hey Apple, where's our 5K Thunderbolt Display?) and upcoming iMacs, perhaps Apple should think about pixel quality as well as pixel quantity.

In a 2013 interview with Variety, Patrick Griffis, executive director, technology strategy for Dolby, said that "better pixels" as opposed to "more pixels" can deliver a "wow" factor that not even Ultra High Def (UHD) TVs can match. With a 1080p HD picture with pumped-up brightness and color, metallic surfaces gleam like mirrors. colors glow, and highlights and shadows alike keep their detail, he added. What’s more, unlike 4K TV, that improvement is visible even at a distance from the screen. The pumped-up brightness and color is due to High Dynamic Range imaging.

High-dynamic-range imaging (HDRI or HDR) is a set of techniques used in imaging and photography to reproduce a greater dynamic range of luminosity  than possible using standard digital imaging or photographic techniques. HDR images can represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter. 

Variety said it’s as striking and impressive a difference as the difference between standard-definition and HD video and that "if you see it, you’ll want one for your living room. Now." That was in 2013. At CES 2015, HDR Television began to look more and more likely to be the next big thing in home theater. When combined with the higher resolution screens, the technology results in a much more life-like picture with incredible colors and contrast.

Apple may already be considering displays with better pixel quality. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted the iMac will be updated this quarter with screens that sport a LED phosphor material called KSF that will boost color saturation. LED backlights with KSF phosphor are emerging as a new wide color gamut solution.