Consumer Electronics Daily is reporting on some news out of the NAB Show, and I find the talk about ATSC 3.0 and UHDTV the most interesting. We heard about the start of work on ATSC 3.0 last September, but now we’re hearing a few more details. ATSC 3.0 will support UHDTV, or Ultra-High-Definition Television, which means 4K and 8K video. Jim Kutzner, senior director of advanced technology at PBS, shared some details.
Keeping terrestrial TV broadcasting relevant will require “making it more mobile, making it more on demand, personalizing it more and making it more interactive,” said Kutzner, who has chaired several ATSC 3.0 working groups. “We do need to deliver higher quality, and we certainly need to make it more efficient.” ATSC 3.0 will be targeted at both fixed and mobile receivers, and will need to encompass “state-of-the-art compression,” Kutzner said. It also will need to be “fully converged with broadband” and it will need to be upgradable to keep pace with fast technological developments, Kutzner said. “Looking ahead,” ATSC 3.0 is “likely to be a complete replacement” for ATSC and ATSC 2.0, “and so it does need to be worth the effort in terms of time and expended resources,” he said.
To accomplish these goals ATSC 3.0 is looking forward to the new High-Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) being developed by the Motion Picture Experts Group, with the first version expected to be published in January. HEVC is expected to be twice as efficient as today’s MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec. That is vital if 4K & 8K video is expected to work over terrestrial broadcast, but it would also be a major advance for ‘standard’ 1080p HD video. Of course, HEVC content will require new hardware to support it.
The article also covers UHDTV delivery over IP, the possibility of using Blu-ray as physical media for UHDTV, and James Cameron talking about the adoption of 3D. Check it out.