Don't Put Up Your 4K Aerial Yet
From May '14
A French broadcaster just cut all the cables for 4K TV.
Using new compression technology called HEVC or H.265, TDF is broadcasting the French Open tennis tournament live over the air at the very high resolution of 3,840x2,160 -- four times as many pixels as with ordinary high-definition video -- at 50 frames per second.
Not just anybody will be able to watch it, though. Not only do you need a 4K TV, but it needs to be equipped with DVB-T2 demodulator electronics and an HEVC decoder. Panasonics's Ultra HD TVs fit the bill, said Envivio, a company whose software is being used to encode the 4K video stream.
Although most people won't be able to appreciate the high resolution right now, it does mark a milestone in digital broadcasting. TV stations benefit from having a large swath of wireless spectrum to send their radio signals, but nowadays aren't getting any new spectrum to accommodate higher resolutions.
Supporting higher resolution is one of the reasons that video experts from a host of companies and organizations collectively created the HEVC standard. It's a sequel to the AVC/H.264 technology that's very widely used today for HD video.