New guidelines for future UHD broadcasts with HDR, high frame rate, and next-gen audio tech have been detailed.
To coincide with the 2018 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) 2018 Show in Las Vegas, the Ultra HD Forum has revealed its Phase B Guidelines for UHD broadcast tech. The Forum's initial Phase A Guidelines covered parameters for tech that was implemented in 2015 and 2016, and this new document addresses next-gen advancements in the realm of 4K content production and delivery for Ultra HD TVs.
"Our Guidelines are regularly updated, and further technologies will be addressed," said Madeleine Noland, Chair of the Guidelines Work group. "Also, as with the Phase A guidelines, we remain strongly focused on backwards compatibility so that the introduction of new solutions doesn't break what's already in place. Phase B Guidelines will soon include end-to-end workflows for all distribution systems including OTA, MVPD and OTT, which is a hallmark of the Forum’s work."
The Phase B Guidelines are presented as an 80-page technical document with info and standards for five main areas of potential Ultra HD broadcast tech, including baselines for supporting dynamic metadata HDR formats like Dolby Vision, high frame rate playback at 100 or 120 FPS, and next-gen 3D audio formats like Dolby AC-4 and MPEG-H Audio. Likewise, the new Guidelines also address concerns over the higher bandwidth requirements for UHD video via Content Aware Encoding. This method reduces the bitrate of an on-demand or live encode during static shots without a lot of motion in order to lower bandwidth use.
Here's a full rundown of the main technologies featured in the Ultra HD Forum's Phase B Guidelines:
- CONTENT AWARE ENCODING
- DUAL-LAYER HDR TECHNOLOGIES
- DYNAMIC HDR METADATA SYSTEMS (Dolby Vision™ and SL-HDR1)
- HIGH FRAME RATE (100/120 FPS)
- NEXT GENERATION AUDIO (Dolby® AC-4 Audio and MPEG-H Audio)
Though actual commercial implementation for many of these 4K broadcast features is still pending for the time being, the Forum is now demonstrating the tech in action at NAB 2018.