Next week, the industry will discuss the future of content delivery at NAB. I’ll be participating in a seminar examining how new dimensions in video technology will impact the business of video distribution. It’s hard to discuss this topic without hitting on 4K (also called Ultra HD or UHD) and its ramifications for the industry.
Last year, I wrote this column on what’s next for Ultra HD. My points about the phased approach to implementation still apply, but as this topic continues to heat up, I think it’s a good time for an update on where 4K is today and how it is shaping the roll-out on a global scale…
The 15-year plateau of HDTV is undergoing a dramatic change thanks to HEVC and UHD.
Here is some quick background: Ultra HD represents a truly new era of television beyond HD. It refers to higher 4k resolution (3840x2160), but also involves higher frame rates, higher dynamic range, and better color. And consumers will soon see new programming broadcast in 4K, starting with the 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals. Furthermore, the Japanese and Korean governments are driving 4K and 8K video transmission trials for this year as well.
So, Ultra HD is very different from HD, and it’s already here in some respects.
Many of us at ARRIS believe that UHD should be considered a roadmap for improving TV in the years to come. We also believe that the underlying HEVC standard that makes 4K content possible on today’s networks is also what will enable many of these improved TV experiences.
HEVC is two times as effective as the current H.264 standard and has the potential to cut bandwidth costs in half. It will even enable telco providers to extend their reach over current DSL networks.
With that in mind, the phased approach to UHD that I mentioned earlier is likely to follow these four steps:
I hope that you can join me, Kevin Wirick, and Hugo Gaggioni, Sony CTO for Broadcast and Production Systems, and others at NAB in exploring this topic as well as the trends and technologies that will determine the future of video delivery networks.
Join my seminar, Wednesday April 9th @ 10am PT in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Room S219 “Creating Value in MultiScreen and Ultra HDTV” to learn more.
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