UHD Forum 2016: “By itself 4K is not enough”

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According to Rapid TV News, a renowned figure in Europe’s broadcasting industry has warned that physical limitations could hamper the uptake of Ultra HD services, not least among them the need for short viewing distances.

Addressing the UHD Forum in Lucca, Italy, Phil Laven of the DVB controversially fundamentally questioned as to whether the consumer industry actually needed 4K. The answer to him was a resounding no.

One of the key problems, Laven proposed, concerned viewing distance. Making a comparison with the evolution of the previous generation of broadcast technologies, Laven stated that while for a HDTV set the optimal viewing distance was three times picture height, for 4K TVs this was half this amount.

This would mean that with a viewing distance of two to three metres, as is generally the case in European homes, there would need to be a screen size of around 106 inches. With “normal-sized’ sets it would mean viewing distances of well under a metre, something that Laven doubted anyone would find acceptable.

Analysing other key commercial development parameters, Laven noted the lack of standards in the industry. He believed that a single standard for Ultra HD would be “ideal’ but conceded that it would be difficult to achieve “Everybody would be happy with it except for the manufacturers who would have to pay for it themselves,’ he observed. “We need future proof standards for Ultra HD and we need to recognise that these will be in use for 20 years. [Defining] 4K was the easy bit.’

Source: Rapid TV News.

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