Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 at 04:00 PM PDT by Steven Cohen
The British network is set to conduct 4K broadcasting tests with the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
The BBC has announced plans to experiment with Ultra HD broadcasting. The channel's R&D department will test the delivery of live 4K feeds over broadcast and broadband networks with games from this summer's World Cup. Unfortunately, the broadcasts will only be used as in-house trials and will not be viewable by the public.
"BBC R&D has an outstanding track record as a catalyst for bringing the industry together and delivering the future of television to audiences. These trials are an excellent example of that tradition as a major technical achievement, such as distributing UHD TV over DTT and IP simultaneously from Rio, can only be made possible by close collaboration with a range of organisations. The trials will prove hugely valuable in furthering our understanding of UHD technology, and potential distribution models for the future, as well providing real benefits for licence fee payers in the near-term," said Matthew Postgate, Controller, BBC R&D.
The matches will be captured in 4K and the live footage will be transmitted via satellite from Brazil to the UK. There, the video will be decoded and played back through existing broadcast and broadband systems on consumer 4K TVs housed in select R&D headquarters. These tests will mark the first time that 4K feeds have been delivered through DTT and IP tech at the same time. The BBC hopes that the trial will help them better understand Ultra HD standards and delivery methods, including the real-world efficiency of the HEVC codec for a live transmission. Likewise, the trial will also test MPEG-DASH adaptive bitrate technology for delivering high quality video over IP networks that change bitrates based on a user's available bandwidth.
There's no timetable yet for the launch of full-fledged public Ultra HD broadcasts in the UK, but these tests are a clear step in the right direction.
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