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One of the main reasons I went to NAB 2014 was to ascertain the state of UHD/4K standardization and the expected rollout timetable. Of course, the pixel resolution is well-established—3840x2160 for home-based systems—but what about other aspects such as higher dynamic range and bit depth, wider color gamut, less color subsampling, higher frame rate, encoding/compression and bitrate, and audio format? None of these parameters have been settled upon as part of a standard that content creators can follow and display manufacturers can implement.

 

I attended several presentations on UHD/4K, and the general consensus seemed to be that UHD is indeed coming to the home and that standardizing these elements was critical to its success. But how soon will that happen? Here's a timetable offered by Thierry Fautier of Harmonic, a video-infrastructure company.

 



The rollout of UHD is scheduled in phases. Notice that UHD-1 Phase 1, which we are in the middle of right now, specifies 4:2:0 color subsampling with 10-bit dynamic range, 50/60 Hz frame rate, HEVC codec, Rec.709 color gamut, and 5.1 audio, probably using current codecs such as Dolby Digital and AAC. High dynamic range is "preferred" but not required.

 

In particular, several presenters remarked that the most important element is high dynamic range, a sentiment with which I completely agree. Most people can't see the difference in detail between 1080p and 2160p on a 50" or 60" screen at a distance of 10 feet (a common scenario in today's homes), but everyone can immediately see the benefit of high dynamic range, even on a 1080p display. Some good news on that front was Dolby's announcement that the FilmLight Baselight color-grading system now incorporates Dolby Vision, allowing content to be graded for high dynamic range and wide color gamut. Now, all we need is for manufacturers like Vizio, Sharp, and TCL to make good on their CES announcements to build TVs with Dolby Vision capabilities.

 

Color gamut is another open question. Everyone was talking about how Rec.2020 includes a much wider gamut than the current Rec.709, but they also acknowledged that it would be difficult to make TVs that encompass that entire gamut, and that the DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative) P3 gamut might be more realistic, at least in the near term.

 

One interesting point to notice in the chart is that the video codec is specified to be HEVC, also known as H.265. In fact, I heard no one mention any other codec while I was at NAB. Some AVS members have asked about Google's VP9, which is likely to be used for YouTube UHD content. According to Wikipedia , VP9 can support 4:2:0, 4:2:2, and 4:4:4 color subsampling, and a profile that supports 10-bit dynamic range is under consideration, which implies that the current profiles are limited to 8-bit.

 

Another possibility is Sony's XAVC, which is a recording format that uses the highest level of AVC/H.264. According to Wikipedia , XAVC can support UHD/4K at up to 60 frames per second and all three common color-subsampling schemes at 8-, 10-, or 12-bit dynamic range. But other than Sony, no one was talking about anything but HEVC as the codec of choice for UHD content.

 

One thing was clear—UHD is not yet fully baked. At the show, I heard many people say that HDTV took 10 years to be fully implemented, so we should expect UHDTV to take about that long. I'm not sure I agree—after all, the pace of technological development generally increases over time, so perhaps the transition to UHD will take only five years. On the other hand, the standards will be decided by committees, which are notorious for taking inordinate amounts of time to reach any conclusions. In any event, this process will provide years of fodder for discussion, that's for sure.

 

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Hello scott and thank you for this synthetic post,


I would just like to draw your attention to the fact that it is necessary to distinguish two families of UHD standards :


> On 17 October 2012, the Consummer Electronics Association sets the standard Ultra High Definition ( UHD ) video format as said "4K for home use". This is the format for video (movies , concerts, documentaries) stored on optical physical media (replacing the Bluray ...) or available for streaming or video on demand . CEA specifies the UHD format with minimum resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and therefore an aspect ratio of at least 16:9 . This means that UHD can encompass variations of picture formats of digital cinema with a resolution and aspect ratio equal to or greater than those specified by the CEA.


> The international body responsible for drafting the television standards, the SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) , created in 2007 and updated in 2009 and 2013 documents referenced SMPTE ST 2036-1 , 2036-2 , 2036-3 that define the different parameters that ultra HD television signal can exploit. This is called UHDTV which comes in two resolutions:


• UHDTV1 ( simplified UHD -1 ) takes as its single resolution 3840 x 2160 pixels ( 8.3 megapixels ) , noted here that the various resolutions end 4K digital cinema could not be selected for the TV broadcast because the appearance of single image retention is 16:9 .

• UHDTV2 ( simplified UHD -2 ) takes as its single resolution 7680 x 4320 pixels ( 33.2 megapixels ) , this format is derived from the " Super Hi- Vision 8K " defined by NHK (Media No. 1 television broadcasting in Japan) for the satellite broadcasting in Japan.


In the field of TV in Europe is DVB agency that specify the precise parameters of standards UHD -1, UHD -2 and this is their road map which is substantially identical to the table that you specified above :




The parameters of the UHD -1 (phase 1 for europe ) are now frozen since January 2014.


regards.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson  /t/1527206/uhd-rollout-timetable-at-nab-2014#post_24603369



Another possible codec is Sony's XAVC, which is a variation of AVC/H.264. According to Wikipedia , XAVC can support UHD/4K at up to 60 frames per second and all three common color-subsampling schemes at 8-, 10-, or 12-bit dynamic range. But other than Sony, no one was talking about anything but HEVC as the codec of choice for UHD content.

XAVC is a format rather than a codec. The codec used in this format is normal H.264, albeit a very high level.


An analogy is that Bluray is a format, you wouldn't call it a codec or a variation of H.264 or VC-1.
 

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The whole 100/120 fps rates are unfair on Europe and other 50Hz countries if they have to make do with 20 fps less than the US/Japan etc. And it's a shame we have to wait till 2018 to get 20 fps less than everyone else. Though they're still deciding on specs, I hope they don't go with such a low rate as 100Hz. NHK said the minimum needs to be 120 - if Europe needs a 50Hz multiple they need one higher than the minimum (120). The BBC says "a frame rate of around 140 frames per second (fps) is needed for UHD-1" ("and for tracked motion... around 700 fps is needed").
 

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If the Blu ray Disc Association is smart they could implement a new UHD Blu ray standard in phase's as well UHD BD 1, UHD BD 2, etc. I don't think any current & near future UHD TV's for home can even support Rec.2020 4:4:4 16 Bit
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs  /t/1527206/uhd-rollout-timetable-at-nab-2014#post_24604902


The BBC says "a frame rate of around 140 frames per second (fps) is needed for UHD-1" ("and for tracked motion... around 700 fps is needed").
700fps UHD for sports! Thats what I'm talking about
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs  /t/1527206/uhd-rollout-timetable-at-nab-2014#post_24604902


The whole 100/120 fps rates are unfair on Europe and other 50Hz countries if they have to make do with 20 fps less than the US/Japan etc. And it's a shame we have to wait till 2018 to get 20 fps less than everyone else. Though they're still deciding on specs, I hope they don't go with such a low rate as 100Hz. NHK said the minimum needs to be 120 - if Europe needs a 50Hz multiple they need one higher than the minimum (120). The BBC says "a frame rate of around 140 frames per second (fps) is needed for UHD-1" ("and for tracked motion... around 700 fps is needed").

Correct ... and the trend is to mix and get advantages of two technics : european broadcatser could ask SMPTE to implement 100hz or 150 hz in nterlaced mode to have a high frame rate ( and then avoid judder ) AND save the bandwidth.


NHK made test on UHD-1 and they defined that low limitation to avoid judder and motion blurr on sport sequences is about 150hz minimum.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by safe91  /t/1527206/uhd-rollout-timetable-at-nab-2014#post_24605080


Correct ... and the trend is to mix and get advantages of two technics : european broadcatser could ask SMPTE to implement 100hz or 150 hz in nterlaced mode to have a high frame rate ( and then avoid judder ) AND save the bandwidth.


NHK made test on UHD-1 and they defined that low limitation to avoid judder and motion blurr on sport sequences is about 150hz minimum.
I doubt they would. I think they want to move away from interlaced if possible, so it would be better to have a higher progressive frame rate. Higher frame rates may not need much more bandwidth (the EBU have claimed they don't need any more than interlaced) since there will be less changes between frames, and they can use more B frames. So everything should be simpler if, in the future, they use high enough progressive frame rates (without the fractional frame rates like 59.94...).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by img eL  /t/1527206/uhd-rollout-timetable-at-nab-2014#post_24604934


If the Blu ray Disc Association is smart they could implement a new UHD Blu ray standard in phase's as well UHD BD 1, UHD BD 2, etc. I don't think any current & near future UHD TV's for home can even support Rec.2020 4:4:4 16 Bit

you are right for TVs.


If BDA find out BDXL format first, then we could consider it as the first phase of Bluray UHD/4k ... because only Archival Disc have enough space to store 8k movies ...

If BDA find out Arhival Disc and forget BDXL, then could have a pertinent format for time.


Just another clues :

- in Sony video présentation of evolution of Bluray specs done for NAB 2014, they said that their preference goes to BDXL 100GB and in every cases next bluray format could not find out before mid 2015 ... wich is the same date that Archival Disc will be available ( for non commercial use ... ).

- Archival Disc is fully compliant with Bluray actual system. Archival Disc player could easily read actual Bluray and storage technologie will be the same than Bluray actual system.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs  /t/1527206/uhd-rollout-timetable-at-nab-2014#post_24605113


I doubt they would. I think they want to move away from interlaced if possible, so it would be better to have a higher progressive frame rate. Higher frame rates may not need much more bandwidth (the EBU have claimed they don't need any more than interlaced) since there will be less changes between frames, and they can use more B frames. So everything should be simpler if, in the future, they use high enough progressive frame rates (without the fractional frame rates like 59.94...).

Yes Joe, but EBU is also listening all images laboratories like Orange Labs ( France ) wich preconised that solution above. EBU mandated Orange Labs to experiment UHD link parameters and all perceived quality test and their results are clear.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by safe91  /t/1527206/uhd-rollout-timetable-at-nab-2014#post_24605139


Yes Joe, but EBU is also listening all images laboratories like Orange Labs ( France ) wich preconised that solution above. EBU mandated Orange Labs to experiment UHD link parameters and all perceived quality test and their results are clear.
Thanks. Do you have a link to where they say they are going to have (or might be going to) have 100/150 fps in interlaced mode for UHD-1 as I've not heard them say this before? Or a link to the test results you mentioned?


Here's one link where they mention orange labs/EBU tests, and they never mention testing interlaced for UHD (the link below shows them comparing progressive 60 fps UHD content to interlaced 1080i content):
http://www.images-et-reseaux.com/sites/default/files/medias/blog/2013/20/02-4ever_round_table_uhd_rennes_ir_cluster_2013.pdf
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs  /t/1527206/uhd-rollout-timetable-at-nab-2014#post_24605148


Thanks. Do you have a link to where they say they are going to have (or might be going to) have 100/150 fps in interlaced mode for UHD-1 as I've not heard them say this before?

Orange labs belong to 4EVER French consortium wich include european partners.


You can find last news at NAB 2014 here : http://www.4ever-project.com/docs/files/PressRelease_4EVER_NAB.pdf
http://www.4ever-project.com/


A part of public tests and scenarios available here :
http://www.4ever-project.com/docs/files/4EVER_HEVC%20scenarios%20V2-2.pdf
http://www.4ever-project.com/docs/files/m29210_4EVER_testssubjectifsHEVC_HD.pdf


Here is the link where they are talking about interlaced frames ( sorry in french ) starting page 10 : http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:fWmoegiY1S8J:www.oezratty.net/wordpress/2013/francais-tv-connectee-ateme/%3Foutput%3Dpdf+&cd=5&hl=fr&ct=clnk&gl=fr


Here is some interesting PDF talking aout frame rates including sometimes captures of tests done by Orange Labs :


Nokia march 2014 : http://cdn.satellitetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/4K-UHDTV_NAB_Breakfast_Seminar.pdf

SMPTE march 2014 : is talking about interlaced frames rates in their last report of UHDTV ecosystem study group : https://www.smpte.org/standards/reports

EBU march 2014 : http://www.hoek.nl/dg/18mrt14/Dutch_Guild_2014_Yvonne_Thomas_handout.pdf

EBU nov 2013 : https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/events/webinar049_BeyondHD-update/hoffmann_beyondHD_update.pdf

EUTELSAT nov 2013 : http://www.worldbroadcastingunions.org/wbuarea/library/docs/isog/presentations/2013B/1.8%20Eutelsat%20-%20WBU-ISOG%20Forum%20Rio%20Nov%202013.pdf

EBU june 2013 : https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/events/webinar053_uhdtv/061213_uhdtv_webinar%20_final.pdf

EBU march 2013 : http://btsgold2013.diee.unica.it/uploads/simplex/presentations/David%20Wood%20-%20Deciding%20tomorrows%20television%20parameters.pdf

Techcon 2012 : http://ec2-50-16-227-110.compute-1.amazonaws.com/media/store/page-media/events/39/42%20-%20Broadcasting%20the%20Future%202012.pdf
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson  /t/1527206/uhd-rollout-timetable-at-nab-2014#post_24603369

...

 

In particular, several presenters remarked that the most important element is high dynamic range, a sentiment with which I completely agree. Most people can't see the difference in detail between 1080p and 2160p on a 50" or 60" screen at a distance of 10 feet (a common scenario in today's homes), but everyone can immediately see the benefit of high dynamic range, even on a 1080p display. Some good news on that front was Dolby's announcement that the FilmLight Baselight color-grading system now incorporates Dolby Vision, allowing content to be graded for high dynamic range and wide color gamut. Now, all we need is for manufacturers like Vizio, Sharp, and TCL to make good on their CES announcements to build TVs with Dolby Vision capabilities.

 

Color gamut is another open question. Everyone was talking about how Rec.2020 includes a much wider gamut than the current Rec.709, but they also acknowledged that it would be difficult to make TVs that encompass that entire gamut, and that the DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative) P3 gamut might be more realistic, at least in the near term.

 
...
 

Any idea what percentage of films and TV series use Filmlight Baselight for color grading?  While this is a good first step towards implementation of HDR on the content providers' side, we have to keep in mind that there are quite a few different hardware/software color grading solutions available to the film and television industry.  Filmlight is but one of several companies providing such solutions.  Hopefully others (i.e. Blackmagic's DaVinci Resolve) will follow suit.

 

As for DCI P3 vs. Rec. 2020 color spaces, I'm hoping that they take an approach similar to what Dolby is doing for HDR.  By that, I mean...film, color grade, encode, and distribute using rec. 2020 (or as close to it as they can get) and then use an algorithm to map the rec. 2020 color space to the capabilities of each display.  That way we have room to grow.  Content will actually look better and more accurate as display technology advances and comes closer to being able to produce the entire rec. 2020 color space.  It seems to me that the point of getting away from rec. 709 color space is that we don't want the displays to have to stretch the limited color information they are getting as that requires guesswork on the part of the display.  Going to DCI P3, while better than rec. 709, doesn't fully solve this problem as many displays are already capable of showing more colors than the DCI P3 color space allows for.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by safe91  /t/1527206/uhd-rollout-timetable-at-nab-2014#post_24605343


Orange labs belong to 4EVER French consortium wich include european partners. ...
Thanks. Thanks a lot of links, but where do they say they are going to (or thinking of) use interlaced for UHD-1, like you said they were? Or 100/150 fps in interlaced mode at UHD-1 resolution like you said they did?


From looking at the links they seem to still only be talking of using progressive for UHD and not using interlaced for it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by safe91  /t/1527206/uhd-rollout-timetable-at-nab-2014#post_24605394


I edited my message above
Thanks. I've just read it. It says (translated):
Quote:
ATEME and Orange are working on a solution

intermediary would be to do 120p but interlaced (half a frame 120 times

second) that would bring the benefits of 120p in perception of motion, and avoid

increase the bandwidth needed compared to 50 or 60p.
Obviously that's wrong "would be able to do 120p but interlaced". If it's interlaced it's 120i not 120p.


I still think it's a bad idea to do 120i instead of 120p, and to continue using interlaced when they could use high frame rate progressive instead. In tests they found they only needed an average of 8% more bitrate to do 120 fps progressive instead of 60 fps progressive (see page 7 of https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/tech-i/ebu_tech-i_019.pdf ) - though on the same page in the subjective tests section they say "Moreover for four of the five sequences the subjective improvement was obtained for no increase in coding bitrate". Plus mpeg-style encoders are better/more effiicient at encoding progressive content than interlaced (actually I don't think there's a proper interlaced option in HEVC - I think there's still a way to do it but it's more intended (optimised) for progressive content).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs  /t/1527206/uhd-rollout-timetable-at-nab-2014#post_24605434


...

In tests they found they only needed an average of 8% more bitrate to do 120 fps progressive instead of 60 fps progressive (see page 7 of https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/tech-i/ebu_tech-i_019.pdf )...
 

Very interesting.  When I saw the 8% figure, I was assuming that the content being tested included dramas and other video which doesn't have much motion but it seems that this testing was limited to sports footage.  If true, then this make 120fps sound a lot more realistic for 4K with current/near-future bandwidth capabilities.

 

By the way, what is Meruhenk and is "swing" a sport or are they referring to a swinging motion (i.e. golf, baseball, etc.)?
 
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