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UHD Forum: Format Expected to See Double Digit Growth in 2020

(Image credit: UHD Forum)

FREMONT, Calif.—UHD services are continuing to rollout, showing strong growth even this year as the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was shared by the Ultra HD Forum, which in celebrating its fifth anniversary has also announced new watermarking technologies and new guidelines for UHD.

YouTube began streaming 4K publicly in 2013. Since then, hundreds of UHD services—both business-to-consumer and business-to-business services—have been created. UHD Forum’s Service Tracker projects that at the end of 2020 there will be more than 350 available UHD services.

“Despite the COVID-related slowdown, growth this year is already at double digits again,” said Benjamin Schwarz, who maintains the Service Tracker for UHD Forum.

(Image credit: UHD Forum)

Updates have also been made to the Service Tracker, which now has the ability to categorize audio offerings as stereo, surround, immersive or personalized/NGA. It also lists the audio codec(s) used by a service when possible, including both legacy and NGA technologies.

The UHD Forum has also published an update to its free guidelines on UHD, which is meant to present info on available mature technologies and newer, leading-edge technologies. Version 2.4 of the guideline now provides info on objective measurement and analysis of the quality of HDR Tone Mapping; UHD live event distribution via OTT; and new and updated Annexes.

In addition, a new Watermarking API for Encoder Integration will be released before the end of 2020, the Forum announced. According to Laurent Piron from Nagra, who chairs the UHD Forum’s Security Group, the generic C-language API enables interfacing of a transcoder and a watermark pre-processor. The API will generate A/B variants for Adaptive Bitrate content for both baseband and compressed forensic watermarking technologies.

“We’re excited to provide a vendor-agnostic API that will facilitate the distribution of premium UHD content, which is one of our missions at the Forum,” Piron said.

For more information, visit www.ultrahdforum.org.