Breaking away from just traditional broadcast and over the top (OTT) delivery, a number of key innovative topics stood out at IBC 2015.
This year’s IBC had a drone zone flight cage test area. If you’re going to use one, ensure your drone is designed and manufactured to an approved standard (required by law) and clear your flight with your local aviation authority. For more information see the CAA in the UK or the FAA in the USA.
Virtual Reality (VR)
The Future Zone at IBC 2015 showcased several virtual reality (VR) providers. The most popular one was Jaunt, with Walt Disney announcing a lead investor role right after the show.
Ultra-High Definition (UHD)
IBC in 2014 was all about 4K. 4K is both a mastering format for content and a resolution and is often misused as a term to describe consumer electronics capabilities. IBC in 2015 discussed the range of benefits that ultra-high definition (UHD) brings, which includes more than just a higher resolution than HD.
- Resolution at a minimum of four times 1080i HD (3840×2160)
- High Frame Rate (HFR)
- Wide Colour Gamut (WCG)
- High Dynamic Range (HDR)
According to Ericsson, part of the Ultra HD Forum, TVs have to be fairly large (80 inches or more) for a standard two meter (6 ½ feet) lounge or bedroom viewing distance to a TV, for the 4K resolution to have full effect, so some consumers may see little quality benefit in simply increasing resolution, especially in a smaller TV.
However, High Frame Rate, Wide Colour Gamut, Sampling Rate and High Dynamic Range are making big differences to quality regardless of the size of the set.
High Frame Rate (HFR) is the move from 25i / 30i (25 / 30 frames per second (FPS) interlaced or 50 / 60 fields per second) to a minimum of 50 FPS / 60 FPS. This reduces motion blur and motion judder and makes the biggest difference in fast-moving sports, but many filmic content creators prefer to stay closer to the 24 FPS of film. This does take up extra bandwidth and few, expensive cameras are capable of recording at higher frame rates of 100 / 120 FPS.
Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) includes a move to a new International Telecommunications Union (ITU) display standard that extends the colour gamut and bit depth. The current colour space for HD is based on Rec. 709, which uses 8-bit colour sampling. Rec. 2020, or steps towards it, is used for UHD, and supports 10-bit and 12-bit colour sampling.
Changing the sampling rate from just 8-bit colour (up to 256 samples and 16.8M colours) to 10-bit colour (up to 1024 samples up to 1.1B samples) reduces banding or contouring. Usefully, this doesn’t typically increase bandwidth in encoded or transcoded content that uses inter frame compression – storing the differences between frames. As with fewer artefacts from less banding there are smaller differences between similar frames, so less data to encode, and fewer bits to store and transmit.
High Dynamic Range
High dynamic range is making the biggest quality difference to viewing.
To find out how, see Maria’s Computer Weekly article on IBC 2015: Tech innovation leads the ‘slow demise of traditional broadcast’.
3D audio and improved audio codecs are creating more realistic audio experiences, and optimising the bandwidth to deliver it.
For more information, see Maria’s Computer Weekly article on IBC 2015: Tech innovation leads the ‘slow demise of traditional broadcast’.
Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Home
Set-top boxes (STBs) and multimedia home gateways (MHGs) are becoming the next positioning point for smart home protocol routing and security within the home. Even Apple is getting into the game.
To discover how the STB market, and hence the centre of the consumer’s connected home, is changing, and to discover what Apple is doing read Maria’s Computer Weekly article on IBC 2015: Tech innovation leads the ‘slow demise of traditional broadcast’.
Find Out More
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