The DVB Steering Board has approved specification updates that introduce capabilities to deliver 8K UHD video services for the first time. These updates, extending existing support for the HEVC codec, are the first step in a series of key additions planned for the DVB video coding specifications. These will ensure that DVB continues to provide the most comprehensive and flexible toolbox for the delivery of next generation television services via broadcast and broadband.
HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), also known as H.265, is a standard that offers from 25 per cent to 50 per cent better data compression at the same level of video quality compared to its predecessor MPEG-4/AVC. It is already used in several markets around the world. Until now, DVB specifications included HEVC conformance points only for up to 4K resolution.
The recent DVB specification updates encompass delivery of 8K UHD via both broadcast (transport stream) and broadband (DVB-DASH). Approved for publication as DVB BlueBooks, the updated documents are DVB’s specification for video and audio coding, the DVB-DASH profile for video streaming, and the DVB-SI specification for delivery of service information. All three updates also include some bug fixes.
In the longer term, scaling 8K video delivery to end users will benefit from even more efficient video codecs. This is a goal of current DVB work on Next Generation Video Coding, which is expected to lead to further additions to the DVB specifications in 2022. The early availability of a HEVC conformance point supporting 8K video now will enable flexibility for deployments and maximize service interoperability across device ecosystems.