A French research consortium in mid-April announced a three-year, multimillion euro plan to reduce the bandwidth needed to deliver Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) using High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).
The research program, called 4EVER, is being conducted by Orange Labs, ATEME, France Télévisions, GlobeCast, TeamCast, Technicolor and Doremi, as well as the Télécom ParisTech and INSA-IETR University labs.
HEVC, the latest compression standard developed jointly by ISO/MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) and ITU-T/ VCEG (Video Coding Experts Group), is currently a draft and is expected to be submitted for final standardization approval in January 2013 as MPEG-H Part 2.
The aim of the 4EVER program is to pave the way for the delivery of an enhanced HD television experience to viewers regardless of the viewing in a practical and inexpensive way.
Initially, a large part of the research effort will be invested in the evaluation of the television experience enhancement that can be offered from higher resolutions, higher frame rates, increased color depth and surround sound.
The consortium expects to demonstrate a first complete UHDTV production and transmission chain within one year, and several field trials are planned throughout the 4EVER project for sports events, music concerts and other live shows.