U.S. Broadcasters Diss 4K - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 130 Old 07-29-2014, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Results of early trials:

http://www.techradar.com/us/news/tel...-ahead-1259434
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post #122 of 130 Old 07-29-2014, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudy1 View Post
That seems to major on the IP MPEG-DASH streaming trials and not really cover the DVB-T2 stuff. I'm not surprised there were relative delays between IPTV solutions - different levels of buffering and implementations I guess.
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post #123 of 130 Old 07-29-2014, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Stu03 View Post
I am friendly with a BBC broadcast engineer with tens of years experience and who is worried about broadcast compression now and in the future.
Well SD in the UK is close-to-unwatchable on decent screen sizes. Compare BBC DVB-T MPEG2 in 2003 with BBC DVB-T in 2014 (I have off-air transport stream recordings from 2003) and you can clearly see the increases in compression (PAL analogue looked better on a decent display...)

However that is partially mitigated by DVB-T2 H264 HD stuff, which is streets ahead of the SD services. It isn't artefact-free, but what is. It is, however, very watchable, and massively better than MPEG2 HD stuff I've seen in the US.

I guess if 4K OTA happens here (big if) it will allow the HD stuff to be quality reduced a bit, to provide a clearer advantage for 4K. Just as most broadcasters pragmatically accepted an SD quality drop when HD arrived. (Sky switched from 720x576 to 544x576 on lots of their SD channels when they launched HD at decent quality ISTR, and Sky still push for high quality HD on their sports channels)
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post #124 of 130 Old 07-30-2014, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post
I guess if 4K OTA happens here (big if) it will allow the HD stuff to be quality reduced a bit, to provide a clearer advantage for 4K. Just as most broadcasters pragmatically accepted an SD quality drop when HD arrived. (Sky switched from 720x576 to 544x576 on lots of their SD channels when they launched HD at decent quality ISTR, and Sky still push for high quality HD on their sports channels)
We can't do that with ATSC because some receivers refuse to display any resolution that isn't in the ATSC specification. Our PBS station tried reducing the resolution of their SD subchannels this way but had to set them back after some viewers only saw blank screens. For a while the MPEG header on our CBS station said it was 1920x1088 which was technically correct (1088 is a multiple of 16) but some receivers even refused to display that.

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post #125 of 130 Old 07-30-2014, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Without native content, where is it going.

I can see broadcasters not being interested in 4k. Even 10-15 years ago, local stations were balking at the capital they'd have to invest for broadcasting, switching, editing and other production hardware.

It would take millions just as broadcast ratings, both for network and local newscasts, were declining.

Now they're just trying to hold onto their spectrum while mobile is trying to poach any spare spectrum.


Now have the studios indicated any interest in releasing 4k media?

Is there any work being done on 4k Blu Ray? Rather skeptical of 4k streams that Netflix and YouTube might bring.

BluRay has the ability to support 4k, the main limitation is file size (limited to 50GB dual layer discs). Today's disks are mostly 1/2 or more full with special features etc, so it wouldn't be hard for them to put the main feature on 1 disc and the special feature on another (like is done for DVD today). That said, there is still this notion that somehow all 4k content will be downloaded and/or streamed with little to no physical media.


Think of the infrastructure and bandwidth required to have nothing but 4k content getting transmitted all over the place. The current infrastructure simply couldn't handle this level of traffic. Goes for both streaming over internet as well as OTA. Also, consider how more and more ISP's are moving towards capped or tiered data plans to help minimize stress on their networks. Those caps would be hit immediately with a bunch of 4k content.


Lastly, consider that HD has been out for over 10 years now and the dominant OTA resolution is still 720p (or at best 1080i). NO ONE transmits in 1080p, the only way you can get full 1080p content is via Blu-ray or download. So we aren't even using current HD 1080p sets to their maximum ability yet.


If the jump from 720p or 1080i to 1080p would be too vexing on infrastructure and bandwidth to allow, and it's been 10 years since HD started gaining popularity, that would indicate we are likely at least 10 years away if not longer from broadcasts of full 4k content.
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post #126 of 130 Old 07-30-2014, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bobby2478 View Post
BluRay has the ability to support 4k, the main limitation is file size (limited to 50GB dual layer discs). Today's disks are mostly 1/2 or more full with special features etc, so it wouldn't be hard for them to put the main feature on 1 disc and the special feature on another (like is done for DVD today). That said, there is still this notion that somehow all 4k content will be downloaded and/or streamed with little to no physical media.
The optical media and UDF file format does, but AIUI the Blu ray video spec doesn't include support for 2160p video using either H264/AVC or H265/HEVC encoding does it? So it's a bit like saying that Blu-ray supports Word or Excel isn't it?

You're right that HEVC at <40Mbs is still likely to be pretty good for HEVC 2160p content - though higher bitrates would always be nicer. There are 100GB Blu-ray discs now aren't there?
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Think of the infrastructure and bandwidth required to have nothing but 4k content getting transmitted all over the place. The current infrastructure simply couldn't handle this level of traffic. Goes for both streaming over internet as well as OTA. Also, consider how more and more ISP's are moving towards capped or tiered data plans to help minimize stress on their networks. Those caps would be hit immediately with a bunch of 4k content.
Though ISPs will leverage this by creating agreements with content providers (unless Net Neutrality kicks in) which will circumvent this to a degree. See Netflix. OR ISPs will make it a selling point that they will exempt certain content from their caps.
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Lastly, consider that HD has been out for over 10 years now and the dominant OTA resolution is still 720p (or at best 1080i). NO ONE transmits in 1080p, the only way you can get full 1080p content is via Blu-ray or download. So we aren't even using current HD 1080p sets to their maximum ability yet.
Though in reality most scripted drama and comedy is shot 1080/24p (or 25p in Europe) - and this can be carried pretty well in a 1080i stream and reconstructed to be 1080p at the receiver. It is only 1080/50p and 1080/60p which would suffer hugely from being carried 1080i.

And in the UK our OTA standard flips the H264 encoders dynamically between 1080/50i and 1080/25p based on content - so stuff shot 1080/25p is broadcast 1080/25p...

Quote:
If the jump from 720p or 1080i to 1080p would be too vexing on infrastructure and bandwidth to allow, and it's been 10 years since HD started gaining popularity, that would indicate we are likely at least 10 years away if not longer from broadcasts of full 4k content.
OTA possibly. Pay TV is much closer than that I suspect. With 3D a failure, 4K is the 'next big thing' to drive up-selling subscribers...

Last edited by sneals2000; 07-30-2014 at 12:15 PM.
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post #127 of 130 Old 07-30-2014, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by scowl View Post
We can't do that with ATSC because some receivers refuse to display any resolution that isn't in the ATSC specification. Our PBS station tried reducing the resolution of their SD subchannels this way but had to set them back after some viewers only saw blank screens. For a while the MPEG header on our CBS station said it was 1920x1088 which was technically correct (1088 is a multiple of 16) but some receivers even refused to display that.
Ouch. DVB does seem a bit more flexible in many areas.
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post #128 of 130 Old 07-30-2014, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post
The optical media and UDF file format does, but AIUI the Blu ray video spec doesn't include support for 2160p using either H264/AVC or H265/HEVC encoding does it? So it's a bit like saying that Blu-ray supports Word or Excel isn't it?

Without truly finalized 4k specs we won't know for sure. Where I was going was that Blu Ray is the last physical media to be made in disc format: there will never be anything created that would go beyond Blu Ray. So in terms of physical media, Blu Ray is about the only option (outside of flash drives). And they have up to 50gb to work with in terms of main feature file size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post
Though ISPs will leverage this by creating agreements with content providers (unless Net Neutrality kicks in) which will circumvent this to a degree. See Netflix. OR ISPs will make it a selling point that they will exempt certain content from their caps.
Possibly, depending on how the whole "net neutrality" debate plays out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post
Though in reality most scripted drama and comedy is shot 1080/24p (or 25p in Europe) - and this can be carried pretty well in a 1080i stream and reconstructed to be 1080p at the receiver. It is only 1080/50p and 1080/60p which would suffer hugely from being carried 1080i.

I was referring to here in the USA where a majority of broadcasts are 720p, with the max being 1080i. No one broadcasts full 1080p.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post
OTA possibly. Pay TV is much closer than that I suspect. With 3D a failure, 4K is the 'next big thing' to drive up-selling subscribers...

True, but again here in the USA at least the big factor is what resolution do you actually receive. For example, watching anything over cable or satellite, even pay channels like HBO, regardless of what they are transmitting, due to compression what is actually displayed on your TV is less than full 1080p today. So even if they broadcast in full 1080p (which doesn't happen today in US), by the time the content makes its way onto your screen it will be substantially less than full 1080p quality. Which is why watching local channels OTA you get much better picture quality than watching the same channel over cable or satellite. So regardless of how content is transmitted, the signal you display on your TV will be less than full 4k quality, and the only ways you can get the closest to full 4k with no loss of picture quality would be OTA, Physical media (blu ray) or download. Cable/Satellite and streaming will all result in a picture less than 4k quality even if they are transmitted in full 4k.
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post #129 of 130 Old 07-30-2014, 01:31 PM
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Consumer market has repeatedly demonstrated that they will take lower cost and convenience instead of quality.

So MP3, photos taken on phones, etc.

Laser Disc was niche. The higher resolution audio formats never caught on.

If we get 4K at all, there's a good chance it'll be limited to streamed media. Then a 15 Mbps Netflix 4K may become the de facto standard.

Ugh.
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post #130 of 130 Old 07-30-2014, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Consumer market has repeatedly demonstrated that they will take lower cost and convenience instead of quality.

So MP3, photos taken on phones, etc.

Laser Disc was niche. The higher resolution audio formats never caught on.

If we get 4K at all, there's a good chance it'll be limited to streamed media. Then a 15 Mbps Netflix 4K may become the de facto standard.

Ugh.
I believe the Asian manufacturers will be key in getting UHD to the masses in great numbers. Once the big box retailers start selling stripped-down, super cheap UHD sets, the "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality will take over. People who (for lack of a better term) are "clueless" will buy these TVs just to be able to brag that they got "cutting edge" technology at a bargain price on Black Friday. We saw a similar scenario when 1080p sets first went "mainstream" with the Walmart set...people with little in-depth knowledge of the tech bought these sets (along with the first batch of truly cheap Blu-Ray players), only to watch low-bitrate cable signals and their old DVDs on them.

American TV broadcasting has a lot of catching up to do, and may very well never get there unless they're dragged by the government into the UHD camp kicking and screaming. Cable sees UHD as a potential cash cow, and so does Hollywood. Movie studios will not pass over the opportunity to re-sell their entire catalogs in restored, digitally enhanced ultrahigh definition versions. Their preoccupation with piracy will mean that these versions will (at least initially) only be available on physical media. The BDA has already trialled UHD disc-pressing techniques, and are moving towards standardizing the specs for the news discs and the players. A formal announcement is expected sometime around November, with sales of players and discs slated for the 2015 Christmas shopping season.
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