Television image quality has continuously evolved over the last 50 years. Improvements in displays, video compression efficiency, chip gate density, and more will continue to shape the future of television. To keep up with public demand for even better and more immersive experiences, broadcasters need to look beyond today’s HDTV and ask “what’s next?”
UHDTV rationale and goals
UHDTV stands for Ultra High Definition Television. It is the natural evolution from HDTV (High Definition) to a higher fidelity television standard. Indeed Television has always aimed at providing to a remote viewer the possibility to experience the event as if he was there.
UHDTV is another step toward this immersion goal. UHDTV is a new television format that should provide an immersive audio visual experience to the viewer. It aims at improving the “sense of being there” and the “sense of realness“ of the content being viewed. To achieve these two goals, all parameters of the video signals (resolution, colour gamut, frame rate and dynamic range) are enhanced to get the viewing experience even closer to reality.
What is it?
In fact the viewer’s field of view is filled with a picture of higher resolution, wider color gamut – WCG, higher frame rate and higher dynamic range (HDR). UHDTV is defined in the ITU R BT.2020 which describes all its core parameters.
Beyond HD -> Video Systems
In July 2017, the topics covered by Beyond HD were moved to the new EBU Strategic Programme on Video Systems.
EBU Technology & Innovation Workplan
Every two years, the EBU develops a roadmap for technology and innovation activities based on the requirements and inputs given by EBU Members. The result of this roadmap is our bi-annual EBU Technology & Innovation Workplan. Strategic programmes and project groups are set up to focus on specific areas of interest. To access the latest Workplan, click here.
What are the UHD phases?
The ITU BT.2020 provides the technical guidelines to implement UHDTV.
On the basis of this document the EBU and DVB worked together in several workshops to consider the broadcast industry commercial requirements in each market in order to establish a coherent UHDTV service timeline.
The workshops resulted in the following phases :
UHD1 - Phase 1: is only a resolution increase from HDTV to 4k. This phase was driven by the availability of legacy 4k devices on the market. DVB established a receiver specification to enable further interoperability between these devices.
UHD1 - Phase 2: Most service providers consider this phase as a real step forward in terms of added value for viewers when compared with the existing HDTV services. This phase includes HDR and HFR as enhancement factors on top of the 4k resolution. Despite the recognized added value of HFR especially for sport content, the availability in the short term of HFR capable systems and their costs was still a concern at the time the timeline was established. This lead to the creation of two sub phases. Phase 2a which deploys 4k and HDR ( and phase 2b which also includes HFR on top of phase 2a.
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