David Wood, Chair, DVB CM-UHDTV, shares his expert view into 120fps High Frame Rate. [See page 46]
UHDTV is clearly on the rise in 2017, but there are different roads that could be taken from here. The word on the street is that “the best UHDTV set to buy is the one that comes on the market ten minutes after you’ve bought one”.
High Frame Rate could almost be called the Forgotten Feature of UHDTV. There was never any doubt that doubling the Frame Rate would significantly add to UHDTV image quality when there was movement in the scene.
But doubling the Frame Rate seemed likely to seriously affect production resources, and need larger storage and higher clock rates for the decoder. In other words it was going to be expensive.
The decoder makers told DVB several years ago that HFR would call for development of a new decoder IC, and a faster HDMI interface [HDMI 2.1]. They looked us in the eye and said that they could only do it if there would be large scale usage by broadcast and broadband providers. We have a ‘chicken and egg’ situation.
The road to HDR seems relatively certain. It remains to be seen what proportion of UHDTV sets include HDR capability, and what kind of screen brightness they will have. But in ten years’ time it will probably be the norm.
The road to higher frame rates is possible but less certain. The reality is that HFR will only happen if broadcasters and broadband providers are convinced that (as they say in France) the game is worth the candle. Only if they say so, will the decoder manufacturers set in motion the receivers for HFR. Its success probably rests on whether sports producers are convinced and sport fans demand it.
If HFR will come, the temporal sub-layering HFR profile will likely be used for backward compatibility with current 60fps UHDTV.
While remaining functional for many years to come, universal HDR TV shall be able to play any HDR / HFR content if the industry shall commit to support only the Temporal Sub-layering HFR profile for backward compatibility.
Universal audio/video receiver (Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, etc.) is achieved.
Universal HDR TV (HDR10, Dolby Vision, HEVC HLG HDR, VP9-HLG / VP9-PQ YouTube HDR, Dynamic HDR) is required.
Push for universal HDR TV!