This year’s National Association of Broadcasters Show is underway in Las Vegas promising to deliver a week of intense discussions over disruptive formats such as Ultra High Definition and where investment should sit.
While leading consumer electronics makers have invested in Ultra HD TVs, or "4K" TVs, the more cynical industry observers including Hollywood’s tech elite claim that 4K isn't a significant enough investment shift to justify cost to both consumers and content providers. At NAB satellite services provider Intelsat has teamed with partners BT, Ericsson, Sony and Newtec to demonstrate the next iteration of what it calls true 4K UltraHD TV end-to-end video transmission.
The group will be demonstrating ecosystem readiness for the commercialisation of 4K UltraHD TV, and will conduct a live transmission of sports programming that was captured using Sony's PMW-F55 4K cameras, 4K production switcher and SR-R1000 recorder. The 4K signal will be transmitted as a 100 Mbps video stream from BT Tower in London over the BT Global Media Network to Intelsat, via the Intelsat point of presence in New York.
"The world's most admired programmers... are looking at 4K and studying the technical and commercial considerations that will make 4K a compelling differentiator in a world filled with content," said Peter Ostapiuk, Intelsat's vice president of media product management.
Other front runners for emerging format investments include high dynamic range (HDR) imagery, which upgrades the range between the darkest and brightest images a TV can produce for less than 4k. In HDR, Dolby and Technicolor are among the early proponents that will show this technology at NAB. Powerful groups such as SMPTE and MovieLabs have already started work on HDR standards, though the technology is still in early phase.
Meanwhile the 8K movement is emerging, and promises to deliver resolution 16 times greater than HD. Japan is driving 8K broadcasting with the 2016 Rio Olympics. Then there is the 3DTV without glasses platform.
On Monday, Microsoft set the distribution tone with the launch of its version of “adaptive streaming” branded Smooth, which is the bid to deliver the same experience for HD on-demand video streams to consumers with different bandwidth connections. The premise of Smooth is that it can be streamed on http-based servers, which can help publishers and advertisers with the cost of distributing high bandwidth content. Akamai and Adobe are also string adaptive streaming proponents.
Meanwhile, Media Excel, multiscreen transcoding standard specialists will introduce a real-time HEVC (H.265) encoder and transcoder solution at NAB. HEVC assists in content gathering, point-to-point distribution and multiscreen services over the internet and wireless 3G/4G LTE networks. Media Excel COO John Hotchkiss, said that end-to-end HEVC-based real-time solutions, powered by Media Excel’s HERO product lines, enables wireless and satellite operators/broadcasters to deliver exceptional video quality while doubling their channel capacity.
In addition to the latest in OTT and IPTV embellishments, other sizzling topics at NAB will be net neutrality, spectrum rights and the changing face of production in the digital age.
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