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BBC to showcase Ultra-HD during Commonwealth Games
Thursday 26 June 2014 21:37:21 by Andrew Ferguson

4K TV is slowly gaining momentum and another step towards 4K pushing HD content down into the position that SD content lives in. BBC Research and Development is as part of its ongoing experiments with IP broadcasting and Ultra-High Definition (UHD) content is to showcase various parts of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in UHD into the Glasgow Science Centre's Clyde Suite where the public can view it between 10am and 5pm during the Games.

This is not just a test of encoding 4K content and pushing it to a 4K TV, the UHD broadcast is to be the first major live event that is produced and distributed over an IP network.

"We may well look back at this trial as a watershed moment in the history of broadcasting. By proving for the first time that complex events can be created and delivered completely over IP technology, we’re opening up a world of possibilities to programme makers and the wider industry. Not only could BBC R&D’s vision for a new broadcasting system help producers create programmes more efficiently and cost-effectively, but it allows them to take advantage of data like never before, offering new editorial options and ways of improving the experience for audiences."

Matthew Postgate, Controller, BBC R&D

Hopefully it will not be long now before true public access to Ultra-HD will start to appear even if just in a limited trial format, though the BBC in conjunction with Arqiva is running Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) trials as it explores a future built around a hybrid DTT/IP model for getting content into peoples homes. As things stand at this time those buying a 4K TV set have very little content available that exploits the hardware to its full extent.


Posted by gfkerr39 over 2 years ago
And what sort of broadband speed am I going to require for 4K?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
In the 15 to 20 Meg per stream
Posted by gerarda over 2 years ago
As usual the metro BBC management is assuming everyone has decent broadband. More and more of their content is inaccessible to a significant minority of the licence fee payers while those without a licence but decent broadband get a free ride.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
I do wonder about the utility of 4K TV in the average household. Tests indicate that at 9 feet, the majority of people can detect the difference between HD and UHD on a 55" panel, but only when pointed out. Is it really going to make so much difference to the average viewer's enjoyment?

It may be better to throw a bit more bandwidth at HD as I suspect that will be perceptible to more people, and some HD bit rates are miserably low.
Posted by otester over 2 years ago
And people said we didn't FTTP...
Posted by andygegg over 2 years ago
I've given up on HD anyway as there's no perceivable difference from SD.
Posted by otester over 2 years ago

What media are you judging it by?
Posted by rickw over 2 years ago
@andygegg Shurely shome mishtake....

There is a huge difference between HD and SD even to my wife who is definitely sceptical about anything that costs money.

Must be the tele

UHD to HD for many homes is another question
Posted by Unhban over 2 years ago
The Industry are saying that the difference between 2K (HD) and 4K is not enough and to go straight to 8K.
Posted by New_Londoner over 2 years ago

Agreed - buying a "near UHD" TV 4k is about as sensible as buying a 720p "HD" TV as 1080p launched. The only people that will encourage this are manufacturers, just like they did with 3D TV.

Why buy "new" tech at a premium when its replacement is already being tested? Especially when many of the 4K sets are well below spec anyway.
Posted by MyTortoise over 2 years ago
HD video is OK but how about HD audio? Forget 4K, 8K, video whilst they sort out the lousy audio. Most TV audio is dire - what's happened to 'professional' sound recordists and film producers/directors that at one time took pride in their work?
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