UHDTV: Roadblocks and Current Options

UltraHD (UHDTV) for broadcast television is starting to gain traction around the world through a number of major trials, which started in 2013 and will extend throughout 2014. These included the Sochi Winter Olympics in February and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Meanwhile, efforts are underway within the EBU/DVB to specify the key parameters for broadcast Ultra HD applications, in terms of frame rate, bit depth and colourimetry. In addition, HDMI and MovieLabs are driving a new video specification for VOD movies as well as security and interface requirements to enable end-to-end delivery of premium Ultra HD content.

The caveat: Most of the broadcast networks are not ready for UHDTV, however, and are still in the preliminary stages of determining the best way forward.Over-the-top (OTT) delivery is expected to be the first UHDTV service deployed.

My paper will review some of the roadblocks that lay ahead for UHDTV adoption, and will also outline the services that can be enabled in 2014, with a close look at the available technologies, including production, playout, encoding, networking, playback and display.

Mark Hallinger