Are we moving to a new format for programme production? The 4K UHDTV format is essentially four times 1080p. Each picture has about 8 Mpixels, which is between 8 and 16 times the resolution available with HDTV. Will it become a normal TV production format in the next five years? The signs at NAB this year suggest it will.


4K camcorder


Among the 4K products on show at NAB 2011 was a 4K camcorder from JVC. The camera recorded 3840x2160 images at 60p, 50p, and 24p, as well as conventional HDTV, and could record the 4K pictures internally at 144Mbit/s.


Highest quality seen at NAB


4K monitors were available from a number of manufacturers, but possibly stealing the show was the new 4K high end Camera from Sony, the F65. The camera is large and weighty, but a programme shot using it, and shown in the first days of NAB left delegates cheering with delight and envy. It was probably the finest picture quality ever seen from a professional commercially available camera.

4K cameras need larger sensors than HDTV cameras, and there must be limitations in things such as depth of field, but the camera produced pictures with a real sense of depth, and worked well in street lighting conditions.


Sony 4K F65 camera


4K standards


At the same time, the ITU-R continues its work to standardize formats for both 4K, and an 8K format at its upcoming meeting in May 2011.

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