Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) is the name generally applied to the next generation of television system – “beyond HD”, sometimes appearing in combination with the moniker “4k” or “4K”. Whilst the consumer electronics industry are keen to promote the capabilities of their latest TV sets, with year-on-year improvements, the Broadcasters are on the other hand largely constrained by investment cycles of at least 10 years, and indeed there are plenty of channels which have yet to even make the transition to HDTV.
This presentation will give the background to the development of UHDTV, starting by explaining why 3D-TV did not become “the next big thing” which the hype suggested it should. It will go on to explain the consensus view in the broadcast industry that UHDTV is not just about “more pixels” (4k or 3840x2160 pixels resolution) but will be about “better pixels” (higher dynamic range – HDR - and wider colour gamut - WCG) and “faster pixels” (higher frame rates - HFR). Whilst not relevant in terms of image sensors, the final part of the UHDTV jigsaw is of course improved audio as well.
The state of international standards, the broadcast equipment industry and the consumer industry in all of these aspects will be covered. It’s hard to predict timescales in Europe, but a clear pointer is to be found in the far east, where broadcasters are already conducting trials, and planning services, not just in 4k UHDTV (UHD-1) but even in 8k UHDTV (UHD-2 or SHV). The standards are still evolving, and the presentation will give the latest information from the various standards bodies in this area, worldwide, as well as more specific insights into the BBC’s technical research and participation in these developments.