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There are several ways that UHD could be delivered to the home, including online, over the air, and physical disc. (I haven't heard much about cable or satellite delivery.) It seemed clear at NAB that the first method will be online or so-called IP (Internet Protocol) delivery. Sony had demos of several examples, including its Video Unlimited service that downloads HEVC-encoded UHD movies to Sony's FMP-X1 server, which is available now but only works with Sony UHDTVs.

 

Also being demonstrated was Netflix UHD streaming, which I was told also uses HEVC encoding. This is also available now; see Mark Henninger's report on it here .

 

Sony plans its own streaming-UHD service called the Sony Movie Channel, but availability is TBD. The demo consisted of upscaled 1080p and didn't really look all that good.

 

Most impressive was a demonstration co-sponsored by Cisco of a live UHD stream at 60 frames per second that began in a newsroom in New York City and crossed the country to Las Vegas via Time Warner's dedicated IP backbone, not the public Internet. It was encoded using Cisco's AnyRes HEVC with 8-bit dynamic range, streamed at 15 Mbps, and decoded by a ViXs set-top box. Interestingly, the Cisco rep told me the entire end-to-end latency was a full 15 seconds, which the company is working on improving.

 



The Sony/Cisco live stream from NYC looked great at 15 Mbps over a dedicated IP line, but there wasn't much motion in the image—just a guy sitting at a news desk.

 

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