Resolute over Resolution


Peter Savage 2 TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Leighton Chenery
Issue 112 - April 2016

According to an industry think-tank, the end of 2017 will see the tipping point for UHD in the UK. But, ask the people working on the frontline, and that picture is not so clear.

As we approach NAB, talk will once again return to the thorny subject of picture resolution. I say 'thorny' because it has divided the wider television industry.

On the one side we have the broadcast sector, in the main, encouraging the adoption of a new viewing experience that is not just improved resolution but also includes High Dynamic Range (HDR), wider colour gamut, immersive sound and higher frame rates. While on the other side, we have the consumer electronics manufacturers pushing 4k TV sets that are only a step change in resolution.

It's clear to my mind that resolution alone is not sufficient for the next generation of television broadcasts. 4k can look great but you have to be viewing it in exactly the correct spot to appreciate it. And is it significantly better than good HD? Not really. 8k has more of a 'wow' factor but it produces a motion blur that can be unsettling.

On the flip side, from my experience, I can see first hand that HDR and immersive audio significantly improve the televisual experience. And they have nothing to do with resolution. Similarly, for live sport, higher frame rates can improve clarity.

But this is the opinion of just one man. I wanted to know how the rest of the industry feels about 4k. So, during BVE, we asked them. Well, 126 of them anyway.

From the Azule stand inside Excel we conducted an open survey, stopping people to ask them about 4k from a production and broadcast perspective and from the point of view of a consumer. The results make for interesting reading.

Before I reveal all, it is important that I tell you that there was an incentive for filling in the survey: one respondent would win an iPad. But we didn't discriminate or seek out certain demographics. Anyone that was willing to answer - as long as they were part of the media industry - could take part. Just under half of the sample worked in broadcast television, a third worked in film, 10% were in AV and the rest was split among everything from wedding videographers to corporate producers.

So, what did we learn? We learnt that 29% of people within this market don't expect 4k to be their predominant working format until at least 2018 and possibly beyond. At the same time, 33% believe that the tipping point for 4k will be 2017. 16% are already working mainly in 4k while 6% never will.

What was perhaps most telling was that of the 29% that don't foresee 4k becoming standard until at least 2018, and possibly beyond, nearly half of them work in broadcast television.

This was interesting because, also at BVE, I stumbled across a Digital Production Partnership (DPP) seminar in which the chief executive, Mark Harrison, revealed that a DPP think-tank has predicted that 2017 will be the tipping point for UHD (but without HDR). It's not a huge difference but it does show that the foot soldiers of the industry - as that was what most of our survey sample (and indeed BVE) consisted of - differ slightly in their predictions from the generals.

Like all surveys, nothing is ever black and white of course. Of the 16% of people that are already working in 4k, 60% of those (or 12 out of 20 if you like) are in broadcast TV.

Another way to look at this is to examine the current predominant working format. It is no surprise that HD still rules. Of the 126 people in our survey, 86 are mainly working in HD (68%) while just 21 spend most of their time with 4k (17%). SD still has a place too, with 13% still working in 720 x 576.

So, that's the business side, what about the industry's attitude as consumers? Surely, we are all early adopters? We work with (or near) technology all the time: the desire to improve the viewing experience must translate into a yearning to own the best kit at home too? Maybe not. Perhaps we know more than the average man or woman on the street. We know that there isn't much 4k content available to watch right now and that there are lots of standards still to agree on. And we know that HDR, wider colour gamut, higher frame rates and immersive audio are more important.

As such, our survey suggests that we are going to be cautious adopters. 13% already have a 4k TV and a further 12% will buy one this calendar year. Next year another 21% will take the plunge. But 50% currently have no plans to buy a 4k television and 3% don't even have a TV! Now, that tells you a lot.

risk

Tags: iss112 | NAB 2016 | Resolution | Resolute | UHD | Peter Savage 2
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Submitted by John E Fry Click to read or download PDF
Panasonic GH5: Tried and Tested
Tim Bearder My journey as a filmmaker began with a select number of enthusiastic BBC reporters picked out and trained in the concept of Personal Digital Production by the American Video Journalist Michael Rosenblum.
Tags: iss129 | panasonic | gh5 | dslr | senheirser avx | c200 | Tim Bearder
Submitted by Tim Bearder Click to read or download PDF
Empowering connectivity choice in the field
Yvonne Monterroso Reliability, flexibility and ease of use are the key requirements when covering the news and live events, especially when the location could be anywhere. Connectivity is one of the biggest concerns in the field when the pressure is on to capture a key event – if you cannot establish a reliable transmission path to send your video back to the broadcast studio, there is no story.
Tags: iss129 | dejero | satellite | streaming | ku-band | cloud | Yvonne Monterroso
Submitted by Yvonne Monterroso Click to read or download PDF
Somewhere down the latency river
Ben Hawker Some people have been, understandably, getting fairly excited over the prospect of being able to deploy wireless cameras to capture and transmit 4K UHD. Manufacturers and developers are closing in on the ability to deliver systems that will offer up almost endless creative options at the highest – to date – possible picture quality.
Tags: iss129 | latency | 4k | wireless | rf | presteigne | Ben Hawker
Submitted by Ben Hawker Click to read or download PDF
IP for everyone and 4k everywhere - that will be 2018
John Smith -new My first prediction for the coming year is that the use of IP to move broadcast content will increase dramatically.  Ultimately, it will become the commonplace, just as the use of IP has become part of our everyday, consumer lives.  Live sports are closely linked to this growth, as conversion of broadcast signals for transportation across established telecos networks enables content to be viewed in real-time, regardless if it’s in the next room or across the globe.
Tags: iss129 | medialinks | 4k | ip | vr | ai | John Smith -new
Submitted by John Smith -new Click to read or download PDF
2018: A Changing of the Guard
Peter Savage 2 The guys at KitPlus asked me if I could write about what I think is going to happen in 2018 – a feel, or mood, piece of what we might see this year. I’m not sure why they asked me but perhaps it’s because I’ve been around the industry a long time. Anyway, to look forward I think sometimes it’s best to look back as history has a habit of repeating itself.
Tags: iss129 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
Submitted by Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
A Pandoras Box to empower the filmmaker
KitPlus The setting was Celebro Studios London, home to their fully 4k television studios, where journalists and industry commentators gathered late last November to witness the launch of the revolutionary Rotolight Anova PRO 2. This was no ordinary unveiling though, the launch was streamed live on Facebook and YouTube and hosted by award winning news anchor man Martin Stanford with Wesley Dodd, CEO of Celebro Media Group and Rotolight MD Rod Gammons in the studio.
Tags: iss129 | rotolight | celebro | anova pro 2 | led | lighting | wesley dodd | rod gammons | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
Canon C200: Tried and Tested
Ben Sherriff There are many reviews about this camera online and a heap of incredibly detailed comparison and behind the scenes footage that will really give you a full insight into what it can do. So first a disclaimer - this review is less detailed and based on my personal reading of what this camera means for Canon and all other camera manufacturers and us – the users of these technologies. So, what’s all the fuss about?
Tags: iss129 | spellbinder | canon | c200 | c100mkii | c300 | red | alexa | asx-r7 | Ben Sherriff
Submitted by Ben Sherriff Click to read or download PDF
A new AEON in Wireless 4k
JP Delport Whatever production companies are doing right here, right now, today, with wireless HD production tools, they want to do right here, right now, today with 4K UHD. That’s great, but common wisdom would share a host of challenges around 4k UHD, not least, the fact that 4K UHD requires 8x the processing power to transmit, then demands additional horsepower (and bandwidth) to accommodate the data and controls, wireless or otherwise, and of course, when you ramp up processing power, you ramp up heat generation, which needs to be efficiently evacuated.
Tags: iss129 | 4k | uhd | wireless | domo | JP Delport
Submitted by JP Delport Click to read or download PDF
The Outlook for 2018
Duncan Payne January has arrived…and the New Year promises great opportunities for those prepared to seek them out, with the one certainty that change is constant.
Tags: iss129 | adamantean | finance | cvp | netflix | amazon | arri | hdr | sadie groom | rise | Duncan Payne
Submitted by Duncan Payne Click to read or download PDF
Innovation in cameras moving to 4k
Tony Valentino For a number of reasons, wireless camera links needed time to migrate to 4K. However Broadcast Sports International, BSI, designs their own cameras and builds their own hardware and their transition to 4K is already complete.
Tags: iss129 | bsi | ref-cam | wireless | 4k | Tony Valentino
Submitted by Tony Valentino Click to read or download PDF
Epictech makes headway: A case study
Daniel Harker Barnes Founded in January 2014, EpicTech Media have been providing high end video production to companies and musicians across the U.K. for over three and a half years. When approached earlier this year by the band Bodkin Lane, we relished the challenge of producing a video of their charity concert, in aid of Headway (www.headway.org.uk), despite the challenging size of the venue. 
Tags: iss129 | polecam | epictech media | ptz | povcam | Daniel Harker Barnes
Submitted by Daniel Harker Barnes Click to read or download PDF
Capturing the spirit of Mexico
Leonardo Dalessandri Filmmaker, director and editor, Leonardo Dalessandri first came to fame with his stunning video ‘Watchtower of Turkey,’ which with more than 200 million views, garnered the accolade of Best Vimeo Video in 2014. His vibrant images are combined with a unique editing style, incorporating slow motion, hyper lapses and invisible match cuts to produce genuinely breathtaking final results.
Tags: iss129 | watchtower of turkey | davinci resolve | blackmagic. corona | Leonardo Dalessandri
Submitted by Leonardo Dalessandri Click to read or download PDF