BT Champions League screening “an outrageous success”

Tim Felstead, Head of Product Marketing SAM, Snell Advanced Media, has described BT Sport’s live screening of the UEFA Champions League Final using High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology in Ultra-High Definition (UHD) with Dolby Atmos sound at a private screening in London as “an outrageous success”, suggesting that similar initiatives addressing consumers could provide a significant boost to the sales of Ultra High Definition TV sets.

Participating in a ‘Technologists’ panel at the SES Ultra HD Conference in London, Felstead said the one thing that could make the market hit 10 million again for consumer sets is when all consumers realises that they would not “sparkling” HDR on their TV set. “When people see an A-B comparison between High Dynamic Range and Standard Dynamic Range, there is a marked difference,” he suggested. In terms of the live broadcast from the Final, he said the ‘test’ was an outrageous success. “That’s the sort of experience we ned to get into people’s homes. If we can do that, then suddenly we’ve got 10 million [set sales] a year,” he asserted.

Speaking on the same panel, Mark Wilson-Dunn, VP, BT Media & Broadcast Enterprises, noted that for the bigger, more traditional broadcasters, actually getting 4K out there wasn’t as straightforward as people may think, with factors such as legacy technologies and “huge” amounts of investment needed to actually carry out production of 4K and get it across the value chain.

“The issue is going to be the economic model. For a BBC, an ITV to then take 4K to market. These guys are good at technology … but where’s the payback? How do you pay for those production workflows to be changed? That’s the thing that’s holding us back in the UK,” he said.

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