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back to article ITU heralds ultra-high def TV progress

The ITU, an international standards setter, has agreed "the pertinent technical characteristics" of the ultra-high definition televion (UHDTV) format. So said the ITU itself, though quite what those characteristics are - beyond a target resolution of 7680 × 4320, of course - it didn't make clear. According to Japanese …

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Anonymous Coward

"The BBC will be recording the 2012 London Olympics in UHDTV"

Are you serious?

The BBC is going to have hundreds of 8k x 4k cameras covering all the Olympic events when even 4k cameras are rare as hens teeth these days?

Or have I missed some massive new camera development wave over the last year or two?

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8kx4k cameras

As things stand there are a handful of 8k4k cameras and even fewer end-to-end mixing, encoding and distribution systems.

I would expect that one, or maybe 2, rigs would be used for the Olympics.

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The Olympics are always one of the events used to demo new telly tech. The Seoul games were the first real demo of HDTV, featuring live dove roasting in the Olympic cauldron.

Perhaps we can look forward to the same with Seb Coe and Tessa Jowell being sacrificed by enraged taxpayers in a giant wicker Wenlock mascot.

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Silver badge

Say again?

Yeah, yeah, big res, colour depth, blah blah - what was that bit about sound again?

"22.2-channel sound encoded at 48 or 96KHz in 16, 20 or 24 bits"

Oh....oh my...

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Stop

Before anyone gets too excited

No, this won't be broadcast in the UK in this half-century.

The main thing is that we don't need UHDTV or SHV or whatever you want to call it. Most people don't have a home cinema, I mean in the sense of having a 20ft screen not a surround amp and HD plasma! The resolution of SHV is so high that you can't actually appreciate the quality in the home environment at average viewing distances on even the largest TVs domestically available.

The BBC isn't doing all of the Olympics in SHV, it is doing selected events on the very few cameras in existence, no one has the budget to roll out *that* many prototype cameras. In addition the cameras aren't great in low light conditions and fast motion might cause problems.

Don't get too excited, your eyes just don't have that resolution in them! Oh and the bandwidth required to handle the signals? Tens of Gbits per second per camera!

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Don't get too excited, your eyes just don't have that resolution in them! ???

Speak for yourself please.

I can clearly see the difference between 720p and 1080p on my 21" PC monitor so scale that up to my current 52" TV and the difference between 1080p and the new format should be very obvious! Anyone into digital photography who sees the difference between an image on their monitor and a (much higher resolution) print will call you wrong too!

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21" PC monitor

> I can clearly see the difference between 720p and 1080p on my 21" PC monitor

Of course you can, you're probably sitting 50 cm from it! Plan to watch your 52" screen from 1.25m away? The human eye has limited resolution, based on the number of rods/cones it contains, so inevitably there is a practical limit. The BBC have researched this, they have whitepapers on the engineering website.

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Bronze badge

Compression

There are few conditions where you can get 7680 × 4320 sharp pixels through a lens. It's a tradeoff between depth of field, diffraction, and random noise. The director of the video is also manipulating image focus and detail to direct your point of attention. In the end there aren't very many high contrast moving pixels. It's possible that H.265 squeezes a decent looking 8K x 4K video into the 15Mbps stream used by MPEG2 now.

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Anonymous Coward

Stupid terminology

Rather than invent irritating acronyms, can't they name it by the number of pixels or something rational and straightforward like that?

What happened to VHDTV, anyway?

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M7S
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Coat

What happened to VHDTV

They gave some ointment, and it cleared up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stupid terminology

I agree.

As standards increase, would the next be VUHDTV, or SUHDTV or WHY?

HDTV 2.0 etc. easier to remember IMO.

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WTF?

ITU makes progress?

When did the ITU last make progress on anything?

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Yag

"Even though 8K x 4K telly is ten years off"

... and quality programs not even planned...

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MJI
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Will there be any spectrum left?

After all the bits of terrestrial are sold off?

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Gold badge

Foresight failure

So we're onto our third or fourth standard for digital TV and we still aren't at a point where the basic parameters are carried in the signal. WTF is that all about? If I want to send a still image, I don't need a revision of JPEG for each colour depth and spatial resolution I'm interested in. I can understand that it might be beyond the decoding abilities of hardware to decode arbitrary resolutions at arbitrary frame-rates, but selective dropping of excessive data is another problem that the software world solved yonks ago. Why does UHDTV need a new standard?

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Why does UHDTV need a new standard?

I think that the new standards are more likely related to newer compression systems, so that the next UHVSDTV won't require everything from MW to visible light just to get one channel in.

Sadly it is probable that no new standard of decency will be introduced to prevent that channel being the latest series of X-factor :(

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Great............ but

So if this standard ever does become common (which it won't in my lifetime) we'll now be able to watch televised cr*p in ultra high definition?

Wonderful!

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Why do I need a title to reply to a post?

As someone very happy to be an old fart, I find nearly all programmes these days unwatchable because they are so juvenile. Even the 'quality' stuff if virtually content-free, but with great graphics. Brian Cox? Great guy, his books are fascinating, but the tv documentaries? As they used to say, 'Never mind the quality, feel the width'.

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WTF?

I have a use for it

Just as soon as Xaos gains BigNum support, Multithread support, GPU acceleration and can distribute calculations across a large cluster (such as a second hand Tianhe supercomputer), then I want one!

Won't be needing 22.2 sound for that.

I don't expect the hardware to be cheap, except maybe the Tianhe.

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Retina TVs

If 326 ppi makes sense on a iPhone "Retina" display 10" away, a screen 10ft away would only need 27 ppi for the same experience.

So a "retina" TV at 10ft viewing distance with 7680 horizontal pixels would need to be be 282" (23ft) wide.

Oh, right.

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Silver badge
Boffin

Having seen the NHK TV system in question...

I can only say it's bloody good.

To be fair, it was a less than wonderful viewing and listening experience, tacked on in a darkened corridor at IBC last month. And the images selected were very high detail and very high chroma - obviously selected to show it off - but at a first glance I actually thought 'someone's got a glasses-free 3-d system worth looking at...'

The live images from London - a view with which I am intimately familiar, having worked for the company for thirty-odd years - were equally impressive... but I have to wonder just how much image is going to be compressed out of visibility once it's fighting for space on a limited bandwidth channel and a statistical multiplexer over a broadcast system, rather than a contribution circuit.

Mind you, as others have pointed out, the non-technical quality of the broadcasts is going to need some attention, too.

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Facepalm

Missing the point

The commenters banging on about bandwidth and the rubbish being filmed are totally missing the point.

4K x 2K pixels will be needed by 2020 because of the scrolling news banners, sponsor's logos, station idents and trailers for upcoming shows taking up 90% of the screen.

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Flame

predicted in the 60's

by amongst others, "The Walls" a 1963 short story by Kieth Laumer, where your whole living room becomes a TV. (four twenty foot TV's with a ceiling on it) (one TV would prob. need a door through it)

The TV content concept is UUGC (ultra high levels of user generated content) actually then becomes the online social network of looking at other people looking at you.

Ray Bradbury probably got there first (1953) . He had a wall TV based soap opera "The Family" in Farenheit451 which resonates with the UHDTV concept.

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