The ITU has stayed busy, as we mentioned earlier it met to hammer out standards for UHDTV (Ultra High Definition TV), and also recently announced a new set of recommendations for 3DTV. On the 3D front it focused on standardization for delivering video in both 720 and 1080 line formats, digital interfaces used for studio production and methods to evaluate quality based on picture quality, depth and comfort levels. As far as UHDTV which is still quite a bit further off, the group has decided the term will cover both 4K and 8K (aka Super Hi-Vision) resolution video, as multiples of the existing 1080p standard. That means Quad Full HD (QFHD, or 3840x2160 resolution) and Digital Cinema 4K resolution (4096x2160) both fall under the umbrella of 4K (check the aspect ratios to see where the "missing" pixels went, or have a listen to this week's podcast. After the break we've got a video with Study Group Chairman Christoph Dosch discussing the future possibilities of both 3DTV and UHDTV, as well as press releases with a few extra details.
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3DTV gets a boost with new ITU-R Recommendations
Programming, picture quality and viewing comfort to be enhanced
Geneva, 31 May 2012 – New ITU Recommendations on 3DTV will provide much needed tools to evaluate, make, and exchange 3DTV programmes. Intended to promote the further use of this format worldwide, the new Recommendations are being submitted to Administrations for accelerated approval.
ITU's Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) has developed the standards – or Recommendations – in collaboration with experts from the television industry, broadcasting organizations and regulatory institutions in its Study Group 6.
3DTV: A major leap forward
The ITU-R Recommendations focus on 3DTV programme production and broadcasting in the two formats that are in use worldwide: the '720p' and the '1080i/p HDTV' environments. Recommendations were also agreed on the digital interfaces used in studios for 3DTV programme production, and on the general requirements for 3DTV.
ITU-R Study Group 6 also agreed a Recommendation for the methods to evaluate the quality of 3DTV images, which relates to three aspects, or quality factors: picture quality, depth, and comfort levels.
ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing development of the 3DTV format in ITU's Radiocommunication Sector. "3DTV has made a huge impact on TV viewers around the world and led to new developments and opportunities in the broadcast and manufacturing sectors," Dr Touré said. "The new ITU-R Recommendations will provide fresh impetus to this exciting television format."
David Wood, Chairman of ITU-R Working Party 6C (WP 6C), said, "These Recommendations will be of great value to those who make and distribute 3DTV programmes today and in the future. They will make the 3DTV world more comfortable for the media community, and will surely encourage the success and further development of 3DTV."
Christoph Dosch, Chairman of ITU-R Study Group 6 added, "This suite of Recommendations illustrates the coordinated work of experts from various disciplines working together in the ITU Study Group. The ITU-R's main job is to agree Recommendations, and we are clearly succeeding with 3DTV."
The Director ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau François Rancy noted, "The future of the media looks extremely exciting with options like 3DTV. We can and should contribute all we can to the success of such systems. I once again congratulate Study Group 6 for their outstanding work."
Ultra High Definition Television: Threshold of a new age
ITU Recommendations on UHDTV standards agreed
Geneva, 24 May 2012 – ITU has announced a new Recommendation that represents a major advance in television broadcasting that will create an entirely new television broadcast environment with the advent of 'Ultra High Definition Television' or UHDTV. ITU's Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) has developed the standard – or Recommendation – in collaboration with experts from the television industry, broadcasting organizations and regulatory institutions in its Study Group 6.
Ultra High Definition Television: A more defined future
The quality of television pictures that viewers see has improved dramatically since it was invented in the 1930s. A dim black and white screen in the corner of the room has become the sparkling 'high definition' colour picture that we see on today's large 'flat panel displays'.
But technology does not stand still. ITU-R Study Group 6 has now agreed a draft new Recommendation on the technical details for 'Ultra High Definition Television' or UHDTV which is now being submitted to Administrations for approval.
The ITU-R Recommendation lays out the quality standards for UHDTV in two steps. The advances made with each of these quality steps are roughly similar to the step from the old 'standard definition television' to 'high definition television (HDTV)'. HDTV pictures today have the equivalent of between 1-2 megapixels. The first level of UHDTV picture levels has the equivalent of about 8 megapixels (3 840 x 2 160 image system), and the next level comes with the equivalent of about 32 megapixels (7 680 x 4 320 image system). As a shorthand way of describing them, they are sometimes called the '4K' and '8K' UHDTV systems.
Ultra high definition picture quality is accompanied by improved colour fidelity, and options for higher numbers of pictures per second than for today's television systems.
ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré praised the work of ITU-R Study Group 6. "UHDTV is an earth-shaking development in the world of television," Dr Touré said. "Watching UHDTV in the near future will be a breath taking experience, and I look forward to it."
David Wood, Chairman of ITU-R Working Party 6C (WP 6C), which developed the draft new Recommendation, said, "This is the dawn of a new age for television that will bring unprecedented levels of realism and viewer enjoyment. It's a historic moment. Some years will pass before we see these systems in our homes, but come they will. The die is now cast, thanks to the untiring efforts of the international experts participating in WP6C."
Chairman of ITU R Study Group 6 Christoph Dosch added, "This is clearly a major achievement for ITU-R Study Group 6 of which we can be proud. The Recommendation means that organizations around the world can safely begin work to make UHDTV a reality."
Director of ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau François Rancy said, "I've personally seen the pictures with 8K UHDTV system, and it's absolutely stunning – the sense of being there is superb. This agreement shows the great and continuing strength of the ITU-R and Study Group 6."
A video on UHDTV development is at http://youtu.be/hT2XluvAjwQ