EBU takes issue with 4k TV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-20-2014, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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EBU takes issue with 4k TV

Apparently the European broadcasting union is taking issue with CE manufacturers focusing solely on extra pixels and not putting more effort into high dynamic range, high frame rates and expanded color ranges among other things. I say: it's about damn time. Who knows if anything will come of it I'm just happy that someone is speaking up about the rest of what UHDTV is supposed to be other than just pixel count. Here is a link to the document along with hdtvtest's article on the subject and some excerpts.

https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/techreports/tr028.pdf

http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/ebu-4k-201407173860.htm

The issues
At the time of publication (July 2014) the issues confronting broadcasters are:
 Televisions advertised as “4K Ultra-HD” entered the market in 2013.
These displays provide four times (3840 x 2160 pixels) the resolution of HDTV. It is predicted2 that in excess of 12% of worldwide television sales will be ‘4K Ultra-HD’ TVs in 2015.
 The UHDTV standard, however, provides several other additional enhancements over HDTV parameters. These are higher frame rates, more contrast in images (dynamic range), better colours and immersive audio. The intent of a suitable combination of all these enhanced parameters is to provide an “immersive” and better experience for the viewer (“better pixels”).
 The EBU Technical Committee believes that the current focus of the CE industry to provide only an increased resolution (“4k”) and ignoring other enhancements is not a sufficiently large step for the introduction of successful new broadcasting services.
 New broadband services, such as YouTube, Netflix and Amazon’s, and disruptive technologies, such as Dolby Vision, are capable of delivering these extended options as Over-The-Top or enhanced services.
 In Japan, the Administration, together with NHK, has a roadmap to deliver a UHDTV service called “Super Hi-Vision” (“8k”) in time for the 2020 Olympics3. The impact of this on the rest of the world is unclear.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-20-2014, 08:38 PM
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I agree with them that we need more than just increased pixel resolution - ie. we need better quality pixels, higher frame rates etc. But I also think the EBU members should be doing more about making the better standard(s), making sure the electronics companies deliver. As well as I think the electronics companies (TV, HDMI, digital decoder boxes, etc.) should be doing more to accept/display the better standards. But also, people like the EBU are taking a long time to decide on the standards they want. And people like the BBC (who are also EBU members, and have been asking for things like HFR), have been doing their recent UHD tests (terrestrial/ip) at the "normal" (Phase 1) instead of at the standards of Phase 2 (eg. >=100 fps) - so I think they should also be performing their UHD broadcast tests at the better qualitiy (HFR etc) as well as doing their best to come up with the best standards for all the other parameters, faster than they are doing so now. eg. they should be asking HDMI to release a cable that can transmit the higher standard, and/or getting decoder boxes built that use multiple HDMI cables and/or alternate cables etc. So they should be doing more than just releasing documents like this, but doing stuff to actually get the best standards set and hardware for it made as soon as possible.

Also, the links in the first post are clickable.

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-20-2014, 09:27 PM
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Good - we need to move to at least 10-bit color and 120Hz support, without having to sacrifice resolution in the process. (i.e. 4:2:0 signals instead of 4:4:4)

The current state of 4K is a joke.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-20-2014, 09:50 PM
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I agree with the above sentiments. The hype around 4K is absolutely bewildering. I've seen a back-and-forth comparison between 2K and 4K on a 4K digital projector, and the differences are eensy-teensy. They are there, but I don't even think there's a 15% difference at best.

The difference between standard-def and HD is gigantic, plus it's something that I think almost anything can see. However, I do remember the NAB driving around a demo van from 1999-2001 to promote HD, and the #1 thing average Americans liked most about HD? "They liked the wider pictures."

In truth, a lot of the time in mastering we worry about bringing the sharpness of actors' faces, because unfortunately, too often the camera tells the truth. As more than one DP has lamented, "sharpness is not our friend." As it is, many actors were very concerned when shows changed over from film to HD, because they were convinced it might reveal a little too much about how they were aging. (I know of one particular actress with an ABC who stopped her production from going to HD, and she had the clout to make them keep shooting film until the end of the run, around 2008.)

The other interesting thing to note is that the 2K -> 4K uprez algorithms are so good nowadays, just about every 4K movie that's been shown in a theater was sourced from 2K material. Even if you do shoot in 4K, 99% of the time all the VFX were done in 2K. Nobody yet has a fast enough pipeline to do 4K VFX on an effects-heavy picture. And that goes for Transformers, The Hobbit, the Marvel movies, everything. I think it'll happen someday, but we're not quite there yet.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-20-2014, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
The other interesting thing to note is that the 2K -> 4K uprez algorithms are so good nowadays, just about every 4K movie that's been shown in a theater was sourced from 2K material. Even if you do shoot in 4K, 99% of the time all the VFX were done in 2K. Nobody yet has a fast enough pipeline to do 4K VFX on an effects-heavy picture. And that goes for Transformers, The Hobbit, the Marvel movies, everything. I think it'll happen someday, but we're not quite there yet.
Do they do things like credits and 2D (ish) effects at 4K on a 4K picture - ie. shouldn't 2D-ish effects/compositing be a lot faster than full 3D renders so I'd imagine they would do that at 4K? For the Hobbit, even if they had done the effects in 4K, they wouldn't have been able to show it in 4K HFR in cinemas (especially not in 3D) because it's not currently part of the cinema standards.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-21-2014, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
I agree with the above sentiments. The hype around 4K is absolutely bewildering. I've seen a back-and-forth comparison between 2K and 4K on a 4K digital projector, and the differences are eensy-teensy. They are there, but I don't even think there's a 15% difference at best.

The difference between standard-def and HD is gigantic, plus it's something that I think almost anything can see. However, I do remember the NAB driving around a demo van from 1999-2001 to promote HD, and the #1 thing average Americans liked most about HD? "They liked the wider pictures."

In truth, a lot of the time in mastering we worry about bringing the sharpness of actors' faces, because unfortunately, too often the camera tells the truth. As more than one DP has lamented, "sharpness is not our friend." As it is, many actors were very concerned when shows changed over from film to HD, because they were convinced it might reveal a little too much about how they were aging. (I know of one particular actress with an ABC who stopped her production from going to HD, and she had the clout to make them keep shooting film until the end of the run, around 2008.)

The other interesting thing to note is that the 2K -> 4K uprez algorithms are so good nowadays, just about every 4K movie that's been shown in a theater was sourced from 2K material. Even if you do shoot in 4K, 99% of the time all the VFX were done in 2K. Nobody yet has a fast enough pipeline to do 4K VFX on an effects-heavy picture. And that goes for Transformers, The Hobbit, the Marvel movies, everything. I think it'll happen someday, but we're not quite there yet.
They are beginning to shoot movies in 4K as 4K cameras become widespread.

4K digital resolution is comparable to 35mm film. HD does not carry as much detail as 35mm film. That has changed with the arrival of 4K.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-21-2014, 04:31 PM
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They are beginning to shoot movies in 4K as 4K cameras become widespread. 4K digital resolution is comparable to 35mm film. HD does not carry as much detail as 35mm film. That has changed with the arrival of 4K.
I think you have gross simplifications in both statements. The #1 digital camera by far in Hollywood is the Arri Alexa, which (at best) only has 2.8K. In general, most cinematographers are going for the overall look and dynamic range of the image, not for resolution alone, so the choice of camera does not hinge on the K. I think very few of them care.

I agree that HD has never had as much detail as 35mm film, but consider that for decades you had to go through four generations to get to a theatrical print: OCN (camera negative) -> IP (interpostive) -> IN (internegative) -> release print. When I worked for Kodak, they told me best case that their then-best negative emulsion, 5219, had as much as 6K resolution depending on how you measured it, how the MTF stacked up, lenses involved, and so on.

The problem is, every contact generation in the lab subtracted another 1K of information. They figured out more than 20 years ago that on average, a theatrical print had no more than 2048x1556 resolution... and that's where they got the numbers for the digital Cineon standard.

In truth, the VFX business still can't deal with 4K data because the pipeline is so slow and limited. It's not a question of money or technology... it's really a question of time. When you have to deliver a film at the very end, there's just no time to add on another 4X of work just to deal with that much more data. Not yet.

As a result, 99% of the "4K" movies you see in theaters are all uprezzed. In a handful of cases, they're taking the 2K VFX and uprezzing those and integrating them into 4K camera footage... but not very often. There are also non-effects films that do stick with 4K all the way, but those are relatively rare (yet do happen).
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-29-2014, 04:20 PM
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Questions;
1. Since HD material has to be upscaled to 4k, isn't that a step backwards?
2. How about SD material? It doesn't look that great on a HD display, how (bad) will/does it look on a UHD display?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-29-2014, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Questions;
1. Since HD material has to be upscaled to 4k, isn't that a step backwards?
Do you mean in the broadcasts/encodes or in the display? A 4K display won't necessarily look worse with HD material. A good 4K display (ie. with the right processing) should look at least as good as a 1080p display with 1080p content, and it may look better.
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2. How about SD material? It doesn't look that great on a HD display, how (bad) will/does it look on a UHD display?
In theory - but it depends on the picture processing - you're best looking at individual reviews I think - it shouldn't be any worse than on a HD display. In fact it may look better (maybe it would be better to adjust picture settings for when watching SD but that would be something extra to do). But - the fact that you're screen size of the UHD TV is likely to be bigger than your HDTV (or viewing distance decreased) to benefit from UHD with increased resolution, would mean that any artefacts, including compression artefacts, of SDTV are also going to be more obvious - just because of the relative size of the TV image.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-30-2014, 03:31 AM
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The display.

Are these 30 or 60Hz? Some reviewers over at Amazon have stated they are only 30Hz due to limitations of HDMI (at least the ones they handle).

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post #11 of 12 Old 07-30-2014, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
The display.

Are these 30 or 60Hz? Some reviewers over at Amazon have stated they are only 30Hz due to limitations of HDMI (at least the ones they handle).
HDMI 1.4 was up to 30Hz at 3840x2160. Hdmi 2.0 is up to 60Hz at 3840x2160.
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-31-2014, 06:17 PM
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HDMI 1.4 was up to 30Hz at 3840x2160. Hdmi 2.0 is up to 60Hz at 3840x2160.
HDMI 2.0 will likely end up a gap filler like HDMI 1.4. Yes you get 4K but the bandwidth/codec is basically maxed out in this first generations of displays. The incoming Rec. 2020 goes into full bit depth performance at high refresh rates, and then there's the 8K resolution chase...

Even the current generation video cards shipping with Display Port 1.3 have a significant bandwidth advantage over HDMI 2.0. Some TV's coming out have the Display Port already because the manufacturer knows the need for an electronics upgrade is just around the corner.
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