BBC acknowledges importance of UHD


SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: Ian Dormer reports from Amsterdam: Although the BBC
does not have a dedicated channel or output for it, the corporation does recognise how
important UHD (ultra high definition or 4K) is becoming.

The BBC has two natural history series underway in UHD and there are a few dramas
already in the pipeline. It has joined the Digital Television Groups (DTG) high profile
forum team to deal with UHD issues under the joint chairmanship of Andy Quested,
head of technology, BBC UHD, and Sky chief engineer Chris Jones.

“It is all about future proofing, long term archiving, high-value content sales and giving
the public a better experience,” said Quested at IBC. “Referring to the need for a forum
on the subject, Quested commented, “We (the broadcasters) are all at different points
on the timeline but it is one timeline, and when we have the right standards, we can
make programmes.”

Chris Jones, who represents commercial TV broadcaster Sky, says: “Sky has to look at
when UHD will be of benefit to the viewer. We want to avoid the confusion that
surrounded HD and create a harmonious understanding of what UHD will be when it is

There is a growing demand for UHD transmission to start sooner than later, and
although it is the high-end of the market that is calling for it, UHD will ultimately be
easier to broadcast than HD was in the earlier phases of its introduction, thanks to
technology advances and the introduction of the new HEVC (High Efficiency Video

The first live test transmission of UHD took place here at IBC yesterday at the Intel
stand, with a screening of a Premier League rugby match between Saracens and
Gloucester in London.


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