ITU agrees UHDTV specs
October 17, 2011
By Colin Mann
ITU (International Telecommunication Union) – the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies – has revealed that Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) is a step nearer becoming reality.
A group of experts have reached agreement on most of the pertinent technical characteristics of the new standard for television. UHDTV marks a leap forward beyond the current standards for High Definition Television (HDTV).
The experts, which include scientists and engineers from around the world, have been working together for several years in the ITU Study Group on Broadcasting Service (ITU-R Study Group 6) jointly to develop and agree on the technical specifications that will successfully create ‘UHDTV’.
A demonstration of UHDTV was provided by the Japanese public service broadcaster NHK at ITU earlier in October. The screen displayed 33 million pixels, compared to a maximum two million pixels for the highest quality HDTV screens on offer today.
In September 2011, a trial UHDTV link was arranged between London and Amsterdam and plans are under way to cover part of the 2012 London Olympic Games in UHDTV for screening at public venues around the world.
According to David Wood, Chairman of the relevant ITU Working Party in the Broadcasting Service Study Group, the ‘relationship’ that a viewer has with television viewing is linked to the overall experience of the picture and quality of sound. “The extremely high quality of UHDTV will have a definite impact on our lifestyle and on our engagement with the programmes we watch,” he predicted.
Christoph Dosch, Chairman of the Broadcasting Service Study Group, stated, “UHDTV promises to bring about one of the greatest changes to audio-visual communications and broadcasting in recent decades. Technology is truly at the cusp of transforming how people experience audio-visual communications.”
ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré, predicted that UHDTV would create an immersive experience for viewers and generate a host of new business and marketing opportunities.