In Broadcast - March 2014 - 58


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 29 - MARCH 2014

N E W S

InVIEW

The Biggest Resolution This New Year
Our future viewing is about to become a whole lot clearer thanks to an increase in screen resolution...

By John Ive, Director - Business
Development & Technology, IABM

N

58

o glasses and no gimmicks,
just four times the on-screen
resolution. There is still a certain
amount of scepticism from
the public, particularly those
underwhelmed by the promised 3D
revolution of home viewing. There
may be some similarities between
UHD and 3D, in that both require a
TV upgrade, but perhaps it is not the
fairest comparison, as the former is
actually a much easier production
and viewing proposition.
3D was a hard sell for consumers,
with confusion surrounding glasses
and having to sit in the correct
position to benefit from it. The
big difference with UHD is that
production and viewing follow
exactly the same concept as any
other regular television format.
Commonly referred to as 4K,
although technically speaking this
should be called UHD-1 or Ultra High
Definition for television - as 4K is a
derivation of the 4K cinema standard
that shows images in native 4096 x
2160 resolution, rather than the new
domestic format which is actually
3840 x 2160. Regardless of how
we refer to it, it has the potential
to significantly improve the image
quality in our living rooms.
If we look at the predictions
that broadcasters and consumer
electronics companies are making,
it would seem that interest is
already high enough to make UHD
programming a much safer bet
than 3D was. As the margins on
HD screens grow narrower, there is

pressure on CE firms to launch next
generation premium displays, but
the time frame in which they will be
able to enjoy a significant mark-up
is relatively narrow. As production
costs fall in line with standard HD
displays, margins will decrease
relatively quickly. This means there
is speculation around whether UHD
will quickly follow standard HD and
become more of a commodity. It
seems highly likely this will happen
and when it does UHD will be an
entirely viable and attractive mass
market proposition.
The key question is, what's the
time frame for the shift from UHD
being in the realm of early adapters
to a mainstream technology? One
of the greatest indicators of demand
could be the size of screens in the
home. To the surprise of many,
bigger seems to be better, people
are voting with their wallets and
a growing number are choosing
screens of 50 inches or more. That
doesn't mean that money is no
option, cost is still a deal breaker
for many consumers. However, when
it comes to the UHD models, within
the next few years it looks likely that
the sets will carry only a modest
price premium over similarly sized
1080p models.

Broadcasters' investment in UHD is beginning on the programming side

4K in the spotlight

The initial consumer interest is
increasing, however unless the
broadcast sector and its suppliers
are future-proofed, a lack of UHD
content available to homes could
hold back the growth of the market.
For digital terrestrial broadcasters,
it poses a significant challenge, as
their limited spectrum makes UHD
tricky to implement. If we look at
their current offerings, in some
countries they may have up to
50 or 60 channels, of which only
a handful are high-definition. For
terrestrial broadcasts, there is simply
not enough spectrum, which means
providers will struggle to keep up
with the UHD formats.
At the other end of the spectrum,
Satellite, cable and OTT providers
are at an advantage, and the major
players could consolidate their
market leads by establishing UHD
channels relatively simply. Those
using satellite distribution have the
option to rent increased transponder
space which would make UHD
a much more straightforward
deployment than it would be
for competitors using terrestrial
delivery methods.
Alternatively in terms of UHD
potential, the internet is quickly
becoming an increasingly viable
way to get much more data to
homes for a significant percentage
of the population. Many consumers
already have access to high speed
connections, with speed and reach
improving all the time. UHD content
can stream on a 15mbps connection
and in some cases less, making it
an option for providers, even for
their customers on the most basic
packages. Companies such as
Netflix and YouTube have already
shown their hand with plans to make
4K content available.
Although the infrastructure is

already in place for much of the
UK, providers are currently looking
for ways to compress content so
mass market UHD will not put too
much pressure on their networks.
Codecs such as HEVC and possibly
even Google's VP9 are set to be
key enablers for making UHD more
practical. HEVC's compression rate
will probably see UHD needing
only between 10% to 20% more
bandwidth than full HD, making it
entirely feasible for the mass market.
From the providers to the producers
- broadcasters' investment in UHD is
also beginning on the programming
side. Any premium content that has
a suitably longer shelf life should
be future-proofed and archived in
the best possible quality, ready for
the UHD boom. Looking further into
the future, applications such as live
sports, already renowned for its
dynamic production techniques, are
ideal for UHD. New technology offers
the potential for fluidity of movement
and immersive detail that lends itself
to these types of applications.
But just how far will UHD take us
because it's potentially much more
than just resolution? Increasing
the frame rate, dynamic range and
colour space will make an equally
stunning contribution to image
quality and it's not clear how many
of these new developments will be
included in the first phase.
UHD has the potential to provide
a winning proposition for sports
fans and other consumers alike. The
distribution infrastructure has in most
cases the potential to deliver and
broadcasters and their technology
suppliers should start future-proofing
their means of production and
delivery. The picture surrounding the
future of the technology is becoming
clearer, and Ultra-High Definition is
here to stay.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - March 2014

In Broadcast - March 2014
Contents
InNews: Eyevis Acquires Teracue
InNews: Columbus Crew Upgrades With Grass Valley
InPreview: Imt Rf Central Microlite Hd
InForm: Facilities Belong in the Cloud
InForm: Playbox: 15 Years & 14,000 Channels
InFile: Elemental Live - Accelerating Pay Tv Everywhere
InStudio: Voicewriters – Live Captioners
In Broadcast - March 2014 - Intro
In Broadcast - March 2014 - In Broadcast - March 2014
In Broadcast - March 2014 - Cover2
In Broadcast - March 2014 - Contents
In Broadcast - March 2014 - InNews: Eyevis Acquires Teracue
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 5
In Broadcast - March 2014 - InNews: Columbus Crew Upgrades With Grass Valley
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 7
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 8
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 9
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 10
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 11
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 12
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 13
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 14
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 15
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 16
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 17
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 18
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 19
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 20
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 21
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 22
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 23
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 24
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 25
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 26
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 27
In Broadcast - March 2014 - InPreview: Imt Rf Central Microlite Hd
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 29
In Broadcast - March 2014 - InForm: Facilities Belong in the Cloud
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 31
In Broadcast - March 2014 - InForm: Playbox: 15 Years & 14,000 Channels
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 33
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 34
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 35
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 36
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 37
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 38
In Broadcast - March 2014 - InFile: Elemental Live - Accelerating Pay Tv Everywhere
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 40
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 41
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 42
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 43
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 44
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 45
In Broadcast - March 2014 - InStudio: Voicewriters – Live Captioners
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 47
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 48
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 49
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 50
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 51
In Broadcast - March 2014 - 52
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In Broadcast - March 2014 - S1
In Broadcast - March 2014 - S2
In Broadcast - March 2014 - S3
In Broadcast - March 2014 - S4
In Broadcast - March 2014 - S5
In Broadcast - March 2014 - S6
In Broadcast - March 2014 - S7
In Broadcast - March 2014 - S8
In Broadcast - March 2014 - S9
In Broadcast - March 2014 - S10
In Broadcast - March 2014 - S11
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