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4K drama prospects good, but challenges remain

Speakers at a MIPTV 4K Ultra HD Conference session on the opportunities for drama and high-end theatrical screenings agreed on the suitability of the genres for the format, but agreed that a range of technical and production challenges needed to be addressed.

Andy King, Head of Technology Television at the BBC, noted that standards were finally being agreed, which helped not only what happened with cameras, but crucially with consumer displays at the end of the chain.

He said the BBC had decided it was time think very hard about producing material in HDR that it could put in front of its co-production colleagues. The process had allowed it to learn a number of important lessons going forward. “It’s doable, and we’ve learned the hard bits,” he admitted.

Franco di Sarro, CEO of Nexo Digital, noted a growing audience for high-quality theatrical and cultural productions and accordingly had decided to invest in 4K. The technology had allowed unprecedented access to sights and events.

Tony Followell, Head of Media at the Royal Opera House in London, said the venue had carried out a number of tests allied to its key market of cinematic screening of its productions. “We’re interested in the higher resolution. We have art forms such as ballet which demand a higher frame rate.”

A test cinema relay of La Traviata in February had enabled the Royal Opera House to test and compare a range of elements of the service in 4K. “This gave us confidence in being able to evaluate the viewer experience and business opportunities.”

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