Is 4K the end of the line?


Robin Palmer TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
In my TV-Bay April 2013 article I mused over the familiar BNC connector and was it at the end of its line as far as broadcast interconnections were concerned. It’s been around a long time, the BNC was invented in the late 1940s primarily for military radio frequency and microwave interconnections but then became the standard for baseband video connection. However since digital video became commonplace its role has constantly evolved with the technologies’ needs.
For standard definition a 270 MHz serial clock speed is well within the ordinary BNC's acceptable parameters. With HD digital TV signal serialisation is taken to 1.5 GHz via HD-SDI. This allows a 10 bit 4:2:2 in any HD image format to be carried over a single 75 ohm coaxial cable (but much higher spec), still with the same old trusted BNC at the end. The so called 3G standard serialises the digits at 3 GHz to allow for HD 4:4:4 in RGB and higher frame rates too in 4:2:2.
Recently announced at NAB 2013 this April comes 6G: UHD-SDI at 6GHz (6000 MHz) clock rates. The purpose of this further leap is to allow 4K TV signal interconnection over a single coax cable. This will avoid the present need of current 4K products to use quad–link HD-SDI on four BNCs per input or output. Blackmagic has uniquely previously offered dual link 3G to get 4K-4:2:2 on its Decklink 4K extreme capture card. But this is about to change. The new version of the Decklink 4K card has 6G-SDI on one BNC. The new Blackmagic Production Camera 4K has a single 6G: UHD-SDI output socket. These and other 6G connected product launches by Blackmagic this spring are made possible by the advances in chip technologies.
Semtech (who took over Gennum last year) and MindSpeed have developed the necessary chip sets to provide the 6G serialisation, cable driving and receiving interfaces. Cambridge Connectors and others are making BNCs capable of 6G operation. There are no details of any 6G technical standards available at the time of writing to know what 6G should be able to do. A revised SMPTE-424M which presently covers 3G-SDI, has yet to be published. This could mean future interoperability worries.
At 4K data rates 6G may not be wide enough for all roles. Importantly 3G allowed 4:4:4:4 RGBA data in a single cable, or 60p frame-rates at 19201080. But 6G will probably only allow 4K 4:2:2 at frame rates up to 30 Hz. Anything higher would need some form of compression: something not done on present SDI links. Users needing 4K in 4:4:4 RGB are likely to have to resort to dual-link 6G-SDI as an alternative to quad-link HD-SDI already commonly available.
Some people make think that moving up to 4K they can use their existing BNC cables, connections and routers. This is unlikely at 6G because the frequencies are going to be at the extreme edge of what copper connected coaxial cable can do. If you look at Belden’s cable chart, this shows the maximum transmission distance at various data rates. 6G is not on their chart yet, but the trend is for much shorter distances of cable at the higher clock rates. 6G UHD-SDI could be tiny compared with 1.5G HD-SDI.
Blackmagic Design seems to be the first company with 4K 6G: UHD-SDI connected products: there are bound to be more. But it will remain to be seen just how well they can be connected with BNC coupled cables.
Has the BNC and copper coaxial cable been pushed to its final practical limit with 4K on 6G: UHD-SDI? Only with optical connections is there the enormous bandwidth to provide sufficient headroom for 4K, 8K, high frame rates and 4:4:4:4 and anything else we might desire in the future. It could all on one link, but unlikely to have a BNC on the end.
Robin Palmer is Managing Director of Cel-Soft and is fascinated by solutions for 3D & TV quality control and measurement technology.

Tags: iss078 | bnc | 4k | blackmagic design | outputs | semtech | mindspeed | rgba data | Robin Palmer
Contributing Author Robin Palmer

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera BMPCC 4K at IBC 2018

    Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera BMPCC 4K at IBC 2018

  • Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K at NAB 2018

    Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K at NAB 2018

  • Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K at NAB 2018

    Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K at NAB 2018

  • Matrox Unveils Monarch EDGE 4K Contribution Encoder at IBC 2018

    Matrox Unveils Monarch EDGE 4K Contribution Encoder at IBC 2018

  • 12G 4K microMUSA Jackfield and Fibre Termination Solutions from Canford at IBC 2018

    12G 4K microMUSA Jackfield and Fibre Termination Solutions from Canford at IBC 2018

  • Apantac 4k UHD HDMI/DVI Multiviewer with KVM at IBC 2018

    Apantac 4k UHD HDMI/DVI Multiviewer with KVM at IBC 2018

  • JVC 4K Connected Camera GY-HC550 and 500 at IBC 2018

    JVC 4K Connected Camera GY-HC550 and 500 at IBC 2018

  • IMT Vislink HCAM 4k UHD transmitter at IBC 2018

    IMT Vislink HCAM 4k UHD transmitter at IBC 2018

  • 4K UHD Multi-viewer HDMI 2.0 from Apantac at NAB 2018

    4K UHD Multi-viewer HDMI 2.0 from Apantac at NAB 2018

  • Omnitek Updates for Ultra 4k Toolbox at NAB 2018

    Omnitek Updates for Ultra 4k Toolbox at NAB 2018

  • 4k and HEVC with Garland at BVE 2018

    4k and HEVC with Garland at BVE 2018

  • 6K Sony Venice and Sony 4k Palm Camcorders at IBC 2017

    6K Sony Venice and Sony 4k Palm Camcorders at IBC 2017

  • JVC 4K UHD Monitors at IBC 2017

    JVC 4K UHD Monitors at IBC 2017

  • The CFU5 4k Transmitter from Vislink at IBC 2017

    The CFU5 4k Transmitter from Vislink at IBC 2017

  • Wireless 4K Transmitter from DTC Domo Broadcast at IBC 2017

    Wireless 4K Transmitter from DTC Domo Broadcast at IBC 2017

  • AJA Thunderbolt 3 IO 4k Plus at IBC 2017

    AJA Thunderbolt 3 IO 4k Plus at IBC 2017

  • HDR, 12G, 4k, IP - the range expands from Phabrix at NAB 2017

    HDR, 12G, 4k, IP - the range expands from Phabrix at NAB 2017

  • Quad 4k Capture and Stream with Maevex from Matrox at NAB 2017

    Quad 4k Capture and Stream with Maevex from Matrox at NAB 2017

  • 4k 60 Matrix from GDSYS at NAB 2017

    4k 60 Matrix from GDSYS at NAB 2017

  • HEVC 4k Encoding from Aviwest at NAB 2017

    HEVC 4k Encoding from Aviwest at NAB 2017

  • Apantac 4k live demo at NAB 2016

    Apantac 4k live demo at NAB 2016

  • Omnitek Ultra 4K Tool Box at IBC 2015

    Omnitek Ultra 4K Tool Box at IBC 2015

  • Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

    Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

  • MULTIDYNE Silverback 4k at NAB 2015

    MULTIDYNE Silverback 4k at NAB 2015

  • Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

    Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

  • Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

    Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

  • Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

  • Panasonic Lumix GH5 at BVE 2017

    Panasonic Lumix GH5 at BVE 2017

  • Garland at BVE 2017

    Garland at BVE 2017

  • Ikegami 8k camera at IBC 2016

    Ikegami 8k camera at IBC 2016

  • Ikegami HQLM-3120W monitor at IBC 2016

    Ikegami HQLM-3120W monitor at IBC 2016

  • Ikegami UHK-430 camera at IBC 2016

    Ikegami UHK-430 camera at IBC 2016

  • Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

    Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

  • Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

    Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

  • JVC GY-LS300 at IBC 2015

    JVC GY-LS300 at IBC 2015

  • AVIWEST at IBC 2015

    AVIWEST at IBC 2015

  • BBright at IBC 2015

    BBright at IBC 2015

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2015

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2015

  • Lynx Technik at IBC 2015

    Lynx Technik at IBC 2015

  • JVC at BVE 2015

    JVC at BVE 2015

  • Grass Valley at BVE 2015

    Grass Valley at BVE 2015

  • Gearhouse Broadcast at BVE 2015

    Gearhouse Broadcast at BVE 2015

  • KITPLUS rig setup at IBC 2014

    KITPLUS rig setup at IBC 2014

  • Tektronix at IBC 2014

    Tektronix at IBC 2014

  • Cooke Optics technology at IBC 2014

    Cooke Optics technology at IBC 2014

  • Cooke Optics talk anamorphic at IBC 2014

    Cooke Optics talk anamorphic at IBC 2014

  • JVC GY-LS300 prototype at IBC 2014

    JVC GY-LS300 prototype at IBC 2014

  • MultiDyne SilverBACK at IBC 2014

    MultiDyne SilverBACK at IBC 2014

  • BBright at IBC 2014

    BBright at IBC 2014

  • Hitachi at IBC 2014

    Hitachi at IBC 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck DP-HR range at IBC 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck DP-HR range at IBC 2014

  • Ateme at IBC 2014

    Ateme at IBC 2014

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

    Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

    Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

    Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2014

  • Philip Bloom on Tour in Belfast

    Philip Bloom on Tour in Belfast

  • Cinegy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cinegy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Miranda on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Miranda on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • JVC GY-HM600 series camera updates at IBC 2013

    JVC GY-HM600 series camera updates at IBC 2013

  • ATEME at IBC 2013

    ATEME at IBC 2013

  • Multidyne SilverBack, BullDog and Spider at IBC 2013

    Multidyne SilverBack, BullDog and Spider at IBC 2013

  • Cinegy at IBC 2013

    Cinegy at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • MultiDyne: SilverBACK at NAB 2013

    MultiDyne: SilverBACK at NAB 2013

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

    Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • AJA at BVE 2013

    AJA at BVE 2013

  • JVC at BVE 2012

    JVC at BVE 2012

  • Blackmagic Design Ultimatte at IBC 2017

    Blackmagic Design Ultimatte at IBC 2017

  • Blackmagic Design Resolve 14, ATEM, URSA Mini PRo and more from IBC 2017

    Blackmagic Design Resolve 14, ATEM, URSA Mini PRo and more from IBC 2017

  • ATEM TV Studio Pro HD from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    ATEM TV Studio Pro HD from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Blackmagic Design at IBC 2016

    Blackmagic Design at IBC 2016

  • Blackmagic Design at NAB 2012

    Blackmagic Design at NAB 2012

  • Blackmagic introduces Blackmagic RAW (BRAW) at IBC 2018

    Blackmagic introduces Blackmagic RAW (BRAW) at IBC 2018

  • Blackmagic Davinci Resolve 15 at NAB 2018

    Blackmagic Davinci Resolve 15 at NAB 2018

  • Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

  • Autodesk at NAB 2013

    Autodesk at NAB 2013

  • Holdan and DaVinci at BVE North 2011

    Holdan and DaVinci at BVE North 2011

  • Blackmagic at IBC2011

    Blackmagic at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Philip Bloom chats 4k: BVE Day 2

    Philip Bloom chats 4k: BVE Day 2


Articles
An Epiphany Moment
Peter Savage 2 I had been negotiating the sale of my company and had reached the really hard end of the bargain. We were close to agreeing the final sum after a lot of too-much-give-and-not-enough-take negotiation. The solicitors were calling me, keen for a deal. It had come down to one sticking point and, in my hard ball “I am the Wolf of Wall Street” guise, I wasn’t going to let it go. It would make a value difference of 1.5% on the total outcome. Not much, you might think, but I had already nearly fallen out with the solicitors over their fees and I was giving my advisors an extremely hard time because the corporate adviser couldn’t see how I had already given more than an inch and the buyers were taking more than a mile. I was not going to let them win.
Tags: iss134 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
Shedding Light on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k BMCPP4K
Garth de Bruno Austin “What is it about light that has us craving it?” Is the question asked in the opening seconds of Garth de Bruno Austin’s latest short, The Colour of Light. Exploring this natural, human need as well as our innate desire to control it, Garth’s film showcases everyday people going about their lives in differing degrees of luminance, whether that be an artificial streetlight or a natural morning sunrise.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | cinema camera | 4k | cpp4k | Garth de Bruno Austin
Contributing Author Garth de Bruno Austin Click to read or download PDF
The brave new world of software based production
Boromy Ung In today’s rapidly evolving broadcast industry, the only constant media organizations can truly count on is change — and the need to adapt as rapidly and cost-effectively as possible. One of the biggest agents of change is the IP revolution, driving broadcasters to migrate their operations to all-software solutions running on commodity, IT-based technologies.
Tags: iss134 | chyronhego | graphics | sports | ott | Boromy Ung
Contributing Author Boromy Ung Click to read or download PDF
Sony HDC-4800 Review
Andy McKenzie First announced at NAB 2016, the Sony HDC-4800 is a studio camera system capable of shooting 4K/UHD at up to 8x or full HD at up to 16x. With a price point upwards of £250,000 it is a very high-end product with a wide feature set. In Sony's own words, "This is the future of live production, designed to satisfy the storytelling aspect of modern sports production.” Deliveries began in mid 2017 and, after careful preliminary evaluation, we invested in several systems for our hire fleet ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Tags: iss134 | review | hdc-4800 | sony | finepoint | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF