ITU-R Study Group 6, dealing with broadcasting issues, and its Working Parties held recently (from 25 January to 5 February) their first block of meetings of the new study cycle, which goes from November 2015 (with the closing of WRC-15) to late 2019 (before the start of WRC-19). With a newly elected management team, including the new Chair, Mr. Yukihiro Nishida (NHK), the Study Group and its Working Parties will pursue their work and start new work during this period on subjects of importance for broadcasting services.
In the field of Working Party 6A (Terrestrial Broadcasting Delivery), under the new chairmanship of Mr. Amir Nafez (Irib, Iran), the main subjects of work include providing guidance to broadcasters and Administrations worldwide on planning, implementation, protection and evaluation of digital terrestrial broadcasting networks using the latest generation of digital broadcasting systems. During this meeting, the group revised existing material and started developing new material on these subjects. Challenges for WP6A in the next years will include: assessing how the terrestrial networks will be able to transmit the increasing bit rates required for future picture formats (4k, HDR, HFR) and improved sound formats which are being standardized in other groups. The preparation of the next WRC-19 Conference will also take a primary role in the upcoming workplan.
In the field of Working Party 6B (Broadcast Service Assembly and Access), the main subjects of work concern metadata, interactivity and conditional access. In particular, the group progressed in this meeting on recommendations and technical reports related to audio file formats and associated metadata. Of particular interest is the work initiated on a preliminary draft new ITU-R Report on "Initial usage scenarios and requirements of a global platform for the broadcasting service", which lists the vision of the Study Group 6 on a universal system for the delivery of broadcasting signals to any platform in the hand of consumers while producing the content only once.
In the field of Working Party 6C (Production and Quality Assessment), one of the main subjects is to agree the High Dynamic Range (HDR) parameters to be used for video. Under the leadership of the newly appointed WP6C Chair, Andy Quested (BBC), the group put forward a technical recommendation for approval, that should enable the industry to move forward with HDR service plans. Other topics will include work related to future audio production and rendering techniques on which the group proposed further documentation. An immediate future challenge for the group is the modernisation of the core ITU-R Recommendation on Methodology for the subjective assessment of the quality of television pictures.
A team of technical experts from the EBU - Elena Puigrefagut, Walid Sami, Adi Kouadio and Roger Miles - attended and helped with these preliminary meetings.