Global UHD Conference Reviews Developments, Deployment

The conference will include a session on the challenges of producing the Winter Olympic Games.

It seems just when we were getting used to high-definition TV operations, it’s time to make the next leap — this time to UHD (4K). The Global UHD Conference features a deep dive on the latest in the evolving tech sector of UHD.

According to NAB’s Vice President, Technology Education and Outreach Skip Pizzi, the event is a follow-on to a conference held earlier this year in Korea, where 4K broadcasting is already on the air.

“This event is the second such conference, the first having been held in Seoul in March, 2017,” said Pizzi. “This NAB Show conference is a joint production of the NAB, the ATSC and several Korean organizations. It’s intended to provide a forum for discussion of all things related to the development and deployment of ultra HD television worldwide, and is targeted for technologists, engineers, broadcast executives, manufacturers and other business leaders with interest in UHD and nextgen television.”

The Saturday event features some of television’s top industry figures who will examine a range of UHD-related topics, including lessons learned with implementation of ATSC 3.0 broadcasting in the Republic of Korea; challenges faced in producing the February Winter Olympic Games in 4K video; UHD rollout and delivery standards in other parts of the world; and an update on UHD coding standards.

“There will also be presentations on UHD production guidelines; the addition of high dynamic range (HDR) and wide color gamut to both 4K and 1080p video; making the move into higher frame rates; and inclusion of next-generation audio in UHD productions,” said Pizzi.

Lynn Claudy, NAB’s senior vice president of technology, will be among the presenters, and offers insight on what it will to take to deliver the pristine video offered by UHD to consumers.

“Program acquisition and display in Ultra HD resolution is quite commonplace these days,” said Claudy. “Even consumer-level 4K camcorders are available inexpensively, and large screen TV displays will be predominantly 4K in the not-too-distant future. The lagging element necessary to achieving widespread Ultra HD service is the delivery portion, still a niche solution or not available on distribution platforms.

“However, with standards emerging and consumer interest ever growing, the situation is changing rapidly.” he said. “Getting up to date on all these topics will help broadcasters and other delivery providers understand their important role in filling in the pieces of the Ultra HD jigsaw puzzle.”

Thierry Fautier, Harmonic’s vice president of video strategy, will address the rollout of UHD TV service around the world in the session “UHD Worldwide Service Deployment Update” with a focus on the adoption of the HDR enhancement, that’s part of a more realistic viewing experience.

“While Ultra HD deployments today number nearly 100 services, very few incorporate HDR,” said Fautier. “However, as we move further into 2018, momentum from the Winter Olympics and from the FIFA World Cup likely will drive broader uptake of HDR services based on the ‘Ultra HD Forum Phase A’ specification.”

HDR also will be discussed in the session, “Guidelines for UHD Production.” Madeleine Noland, with LG Electronics’ Office of the CTO, advises anyone with an interest in keeping their television technology knowledge base up to date to attend.

“You’ll learn about next-gen UHD technologies: dynamic HDR metadata, content- aware encoding, high frame rate, nextgen audio and more,” said Noland. “This conference presents technology that’s really ‘on the rise.’”