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NEWS MOVE & DELIVER ANALYSIS When we look back on the history of television broadcasting in years to come, there is every chance that Wednesday the 17th of November 2016 will be considered a landmark day. At the 84th meeting of the DVB’s Steering Board (SB), a new specification for Ultra High Definition (UHD) television, UHD-1 Phase 2, was approved. Importantly, it contains an agreement on high dynamic range (HDR), the technical advance that most people agree will be the tipping point for UHD as it provides a ‘wow’ factor for viewers. The approval of this delivery spec guarantees interoperability and enables broadcasters and consumer electronics manufacturers to safely provide uniform UHD-1 Phase 2 products and services, potentially from 2017. Like the ITU’s spec for programme production and exchange, the DVB’s recommendation for delivery gives broadcasters a choice of using either Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) or PQ (Perceptual Quantizer). David Wood, the chair of the DVB Commercial Module for UHDTV, who oversaw much of the work on the specification, said about the announcement: “It marks the culmination of many years work by scores of DVB Member engineers, and is probably the tipping point for the new age of UHD TV. CONNECTED DEVICES Broadpeak and Eutelsat have joined forces on a new service that uses satellite to deliver multi-screen video to connected devices. SmartBeam uses Broadpeak’s nanoCDN product to enable broadcasters and pay-TV operators to use satellite to broadcast video content in IP format, creating a network dedicated to tablets and smartphones. “SmartBeam redefines how satellite can extend access to live and on-demand content on mobile devices, enabling an exceptional quality of experience for OTT customers located beyond range of terrestrial networks,” said Jacques Dutronc, chief development and innovation officer at Eutelsat. “In combining our skills with Broadpeak we are ready to support TV broadcasters as they evolve into a multi-platform environment.” The first customer for SmartBeam is Tricolor TV, the Russian pay-TV operator. He is, of course, correct. But although there are now standards for production and delivery there are still many things to agree on before broadcasters can start launching HDR services, especially live HDR content. Having an agreed standard is one thing but when with dealing with colour, the interpretation of that standard has to be agreed upon to – especially if you are making content that is then shared with other broadcasters, as is the case with sports coverage. Operational guidelines need to be written, therefore, and the ITU is hoping to come up with a common set for both PQ and HLG. There is also the thorny issue of colour space conversion and there is much training to be done. HDR TV will happen, no doubt. But let’s not get too excited just yet. The hard work has only just begun. HDR The DVB’s Steering Board has approved a specification for Ultra High Definition television that includes high dynamic range (HDR). For HDR, the DVB recommendation supports both Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) and PQ (Perceptual Quantizer). In addition it defines Higher Frame Rates (HFR), going beyond the current 50/60 Hz. More than 30 companies and other interested parties participated through the DVB Commercial Module committee, the Technical Module committee and the Steering Board in order to agree on the new specification. The three-year process is estimated to have included 36 online meetings and 14 physical meetings. The specification will be published as BlueBook A157 and will be passed to ETSI for formal publication. 24 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 120 December 2016