4k - fancy fad or future of broadcasting?


John Halksworth TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by John Halksworth
Issue 96 - December 2014

Given the increasing popularity of 4K or Ultra High Definition (UHD) televisions, as well as 4K-capable video cameras, it is safe to say that 4K/UHD is here to stay. While filmmakers in all spheres have been shooting in 4K for some time, distribution of 4K is still in its infancy with very few cinemas showing films in this format.

The benefits of shooting in 4K are widely recognised - better colour, sharper images and improved opportunities to future proof work - and are affecting broadcasting and the use of 4K/UHD in television. There is, however, a definite gap in the broadcast workflow between capturing the 4K content and delivering it to viewers.

The gap exists largely due to the limited availability of source transmission equipment that suits the requirements of broadcasters, and partly due to the method of transmission itself. 4K/UHD requires four times the bandwidth of HD, so where do the barriers lie?

A number of broadcasters are already experimenting with 4K/UHD transmissions. This includes the likes of Sky Sports that is capturing 4K content and transmitting to viewers' screens via satellite using high efficiency video coding (HEVC). In addition, OTT (over the top) operator Netflix is streaming a number of shows, including House of Cards, Breaking Bad and Blacklist, in 4K. However, the additional cost to viewers and the limited selection of programmes could be a barrier to wider spread uptake.

There are, in fact, many options, including SDI and HDBaseT. However, in keeping with a pervasive trend within the broadcast sector, which is the move to adopt IP as a method of transport over a standard network, the use of IP is perhaps the solution that operators are looking for.

In addition, broadcasters are moving away from the use of and reliance on specialist hardware - often proprietary technology - which further reinforces the use of ubiquitous and cost-effective IP as a transport method and supplies a vital link to 4K/UHD. In addition to providing excellent value for money, IP offers broadcasters numerous benefits. It is reliable, flexible, easy to scale up or down, and because it uses a standard network infrastructure, which already exists to varying degrees in organisations, no significant additional investment is required in terms of transport infrastructure. IP can also deliver video in high resolution and frame rates that are needed by broadcasters for quality transmission.

Applied to use within the broadcast environment, the benefits of using IP are making it increasingly popular. From outside broadcasts and the galley control room, to post production suites, IP is gaining traction, especially in areas where switching and extension technology delivers added functionality, flexibility and scalability to operations through high performance KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) technology.

Looking at comparable methods, such as 12G SDI and HDBaseT, the benefits of using IP are largely lost. For 12G SDI, for example, specialist equipment and hardware is needed in order for it to work. Fibre also requires an infrastructure to support it, while the method of transport itself is not expensive. Over standard copper wiring, 4K/UHD can be transmitted up to 100 metres before a repeater is needed. When transmitting 4K over SDI there are significant limitations; it can run over 100 metres of 6G coaxial cable, whereas 12G SDI will only go up to 30 to 40 metres.

HDBaseT is a connectivity standard for the distribution of uncompressed HD multimedia content and was originally designed as a consumer technology to move HDMI signals around the home. It can transport 4K over distances of up to 800 metres with a repeater, however, it is not ideal for moving 4K/UHD signal at high refresh rates. HDBaseT also requires expensive switching technology and high power requirements.

What makes IP ideal for transmitting 4K/UHD signal is the fact that it can be transported over any distance. It overcomes any distance limitations and adds other benefits such as cost-effectiveness and reliability.

Many argue that moving 4K/UHD signals over IP could be restricted by bandwidth. However, 10GB, 40GB and even 100GB Ethernet is rapidly evolving and will soon become another part of the broadcast landscape, offering a comprehensive solution to ensure that 4K to the home becomes a reality.


Tags: iss096 | 4k | future | fad | uhd signal | streaming | channel | john halksworth | John Halksworth
Submitted by John Halksworth Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
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IP Based Remote Production
Ed Calverley Over the last few years Suitcase TV has been getting involved in remote production at the software layer, and I want to talk about some of the ways we have been getting involved in remote production, including a specific trial that we did last year with BBC Sport for the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris.
Tags: iss126 | remote production | IP | jt-nm | smpte 2110 | suitcase | Ed Calverley
Submitted by Ed Calverley Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Media Production Show and other news
Duncan Payne So, the 2nd Media Production Show has been and gone. Hands up who went to Islington by mistake? I know at least two people who did. Their secret is safe with me! For me, the sign of a great trade show is when I come away really enthused about an innovative use of existing technology or a brand new product. When I find something that combines both these things, then I'm a very happy man.
Tags: iss126 | adamantean | finance | leasing | mps | ptz | sam | Duncan Payne
Submitted by Duncan Payne Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Getting started with IMF
Bruce Devlin - new Content is still King, but only if you can get it out to the consumer. I have just had the privilege of doing a live episode of Bruce's Shorts at the EBU IMF Workshop in Geneva. It was a privilege because I was able to talk about real world issues in making IMF compositions rather than talking about the theory of IMF. I was happy that people laughed at the jokes but even happier that people were taking notes and came up to discuss practical solutions to these difficult problems.
Tags: iss126 | class | imf | mam | Bruce Devlin - new
Submitted by Bruce Devlin - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Implementing an IP workflow
John Smith -new The eventual move to incorporate IP into your infrastructures is an inevitability. However, with justified concerns about interoperability and uncertainty about which vendors are best placed to help organisations achieve their IP media networking and content delivery goals, is it any wonder there is hesitation about moving forward? Broadcasters very wisely, don't want the pain without the gain!
Tags: iss126 | medialinks | ip | mdp3020 | gateway | John Smith -new
Submitted by John Smith -new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Lighting - the stuff you do not see
Tama Berkeljon Lighting is the stuff you don't see that makes a difference in what you do see. How the audience feels about a character and whether the scene is scary, tense or upbeat are communicated by the quality and placement of light. Lighting can take the drama to a whole new level - think about film noir with all those shadows on the wall.
Tags: iss126 | outsight | ghost in the shell | led lighting | Tama Berkeljon
Submitted by Tama Berkeljon Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Integrated and automating marketing campaign production
James Gilbert ITV, as an integrated producer broadcaster, creates, owns and distributes high-quality content on multiple platforms. It operates the largest commercial family of channels in the UK and delivers its content through traditional television broadcasting as well as on demand via the ITV Hub. ITV has the largest share of the UK television advertising market and its family of channels attracted a total share of viewing of 21.4% in 2016, the largest audience of any UK commercial broadcaster. ITV's main channel is the largest commercial channel in the UK, delivering 99% of all commercial audiences over five million.
Tags: iss126 | pixel power | itv | marketing campaign | James Gilbert
Submitted by James Gilbert Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Monetizing OTT
Oliver Botti Competition in the TV arena is hotting-up for traditional broadcasters with even ESPN, a strong-hold of sports TV, seeing a reduction in subscriptions with the number of American homes paying to get the service declining by more than 12m since 2011. With Mintel reporting that the subscription video streaming market in the UK is due to exceed revenues of GBP 1 billion (EURO 1.37 billion) by 2019, and account for 38% of the total UK video market, traditional broadcasters clearly cannot afford to turn a blind eye.
Tags: iss126 | ott | moentizing | fincons group | Oliver Botti
Submitted by Oliver Botti Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
TV Futures
Jane Lawrence When I was younger my dad used to encourage me to be a Jack of all trades and a master of none. One of those clich© things parents hand down to their children. However, as I have grown and gone through different stages of education I have found this little piece of wisdom has followed me. Don't get me wrong, being amazing at one thing is a great skill to have, but for me having a good understanding of everything is also vital.
Tags: iss126 | tvfutures | ccitv | portsmouth | preditors | Jane Lawrence
Submitted by Jane Lawrence Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Understanding the process of video production
Joseph Adamson In this article I will focus on understanding the process of video production. The use of miniaturised video equipment and understanding the capability of the kit chosen for the job will be mentioned. The video production process is a road map, which not only helps the producer to minimise problems during production and achieve professional results, but also saves time.This process can be tricky to understand and many videographers are self taught, including myself.
Tags: iss126 | video production | wasd | ail | africans in london | Joseph Adamson
Submitted by Joseph Adamson Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Infrastructure boost with single node storage solutions
Lee Griffin Like other market segments, the motion picture and video production industry is dominated by smaller productions and facilities. Until now, the only option for this portion of the market to take advantage of the performance, fault-tolerance and ease of management of a modern scale-out storage platform was to invest in a storage cluster consisting of three storage nodes and at least one metadata controller.
Tags: iss126 | storage | san | nas | single-node | efs | xstream | efs200 | efs300 | editshare | Lee Griffin
Submitted by Lee Griffin Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Dressing Room - shooting steamy scenes
Josh Portwine W's latest factual entertainment series relies completely on the ability of fixed rig filming setups to make cast members forget their inhibitions. Described as a fly-on-the-wall documentary, "The Dressing Room" gives TV audiences unprecedented access to team-sport dynamics off the field of play by inviting them into the hidden world of dressing rooms at venues across the country.
Tags: iss126 | aw-eu70 | aw-rp120 | stv | motion content group | shooting partners | Josh Portwine
Submitted by Josh Portwine Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Audience engagement with advertising in an OTT world
Hank Frecon Adapting to how we advertise in an OTT world starts by reaching audiences on every screen with tailored content. Most consumers viewing habits include multi-tasking and juggling different activities at the same time, particularly the younger viewing audiences who tend to watch in a more fragmented, on-demand manner. The task of monetizing content in a way that suits this method of viewing pushes monetization strategies to adopt new technologies, so first let's look at the opportunity.
Tags: iss126 | ott | advertise | acr | source digital | Hank Frecon
Submitted by Hank Frecon Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
360 degree video storage requirements
Dave Frederick Swim with bears, run with the bulls, get a pads-eye view of a rocket launch: 360 degree video production, also known as cinematic VR, makes these and many other bucket list-worthy events more accessible than ever. The format has evolved into a powerful storytelling tool, and one that changes not only the way in which visual experiences are shaped, but also the way in which media consumers perceive and interact with video content.
Tags: iss126 | 360 degree | vr | storage | vfx | ssd | san | nas | quantum | Dave Frederick
Submitted by Dave Frederick Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Misinterpreting complexity for sophistication
Dick Hobbs - new Professor Niklaus Wirth was one of the pioneers of computing as we know it. He was responsible for the Pascal language, a project he completed in 1970. Wirth became professor of computing studies at ETH-Zrich, and retired in 1999, although he remains active to this day.
Tags: iss125 | cutting room | dick hobbs | niklaus wirth | pscal | oberon | brad gilmer | amwa | Dick Hobbs - new
Submitted by Dick Hobbs - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine