UHDTV: voices & choices of 2013

A landmark joint EBU/DVB workshop last May brought together key stakeholders in the fast developing world of UHDTV. The group identified areas where further investigations and tests would be required to enable informed decisions about the next steps for the new format. EBU workshop - entitled "UHDTV: voices & choices of 2013" - has opened a new chapter in the story, presenting the results of the tests that have been carried out since the May event.

One of the key outcomes of last May's workshop, already confirmed by preliminary test results, is that a really immersive experience for viewers needs to go further than increased resolution. UHDTV must include higher frame rates, a higher dynamic range and a wider range of colours, as well as an enhanced audio experience.

Future television systems may bring higher resolution images, but also other elements that will improve the viewing experience. These include ‘Higher Dynamic Range’ (giving the images ‘sparkle’), Higher Frame Rates (making for sharper images) and improved colour rendering. The meeting agreed that all of these elements will be important in the short or long term. The term ‘pixel’ is used as an abbreviation for ‘picture element’. The meeting’s view is summed up by the phrase

UHDTV with ‘not just more pixels, but better pixels’.

The Geneva workshop was the centre of the UHDTV universe. More than 120 media industry representatives have joined the 'roadtrip' the future of television. Much work remains to be done, but the meeting - which was titled UHDTV: voices & choices of 2013, reflecting its highly inclusive and interactive format - revealed that there is considerable convergence on the aims of the industry stakeholders.

The Geneva UHDTV workshop was designed to provide basis defining potential roadmaps to UHDTV rollout for the different stakeholders. It is important to note that these roadmaps differ according to the needs and priorities of the groups involved. PayTV operators aim for a more aggressive timetable than Public Service Broadcasters, for many of whom the transition to HDTV remains the short to medium term focus.

UHDTV: voices & choices of 2013 brought together a wide range of stakeholders and provided a platform for alignment of the various national UHDTV/HDTV forums from around Europe, yet also involved the professional and consumer industries, which played a crucial role in discussing and defining the future of UHDTV.

This week's workshop offered great encouragement that all parts of the industry, programme makers, equipment manufacturers, and consumer electronics manufacturers are willing to work together to ensure a future evolution of television which is successful.

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