The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which sets standards for broadcast around the world, has released their specifications for Ultra HD Television (UHDTV). We have been talking about 4K and 8K cameras for sometime now, but getting the standards down in the broadcast world requires a lot of research. The ITU standards that you all know and use everyday include their Recommendation 709 gamma and color space for HD video. With Ultra HD, they have set the 4K resolution at 3840×2160, which is 2x 1920×1080 in both directions and keeps the same aspect ratio of 16:9. This spec is generally called Quad HD or 4K HD for the RED. The 8K standard was set at twice the 4K resolution: 7680 pixels wide by 4320 pixels high. I guess we could call this Oct HD or 8K HD. These standards may seem odd; neither has a full 4K or 8K horizontal resolution, but it makes sense from a television stand point. Doubling resolution and keeping the aspect ratio the same means that television broadcasters can easily scale up or down content, and television makers can combine multiple panels together for a larger display. Additionally, the ITU has added support for a much higher frame rate, 120 fps. From their research, lower frame rates didn’t show smooth motion at such high resolution on large video displays.
Ultra HD will be produced to some extent in the Summer Olympics in London, but no doubt these new standards won’t find their way into your homes for a number of years. It’s still great to see the broadcast world moving in this direction. Check out the full article over here at Broadcast Engineering, and let us know what you think in the comments section below.