July/Aug 2019

People have yet to experience real 4K. We need to spoil the consumer’s eye. I’ve been saying this for ages.

Prashant Chothani, CEO/Founder of Travelxp 4K

Investment in future TV content

Sumant Bahl, MD Europe, Travelxp 4K, highlighted some of the issues around funding in the industry. The broadcasters are producing better quality content, but they are being pushed to produce more and more, he said. He said: “There’s a lot of education needed from the guys who are making the decisions on which channels offer this and how much we pay for that.” Graeme Stanley, CCO of InsightTV, Netherlands,

added that a lot of the investment he has seen going into Ultra-HD (UHD) programming has been at the sporting event end of the market, such as premium football and rugby. “These events tend to support this type of high- quality programming extremely well,” he said. When asked how his company is shooting content, Prashant Chothani, CEO/Founder of Travelxp 4K, said the travel documentary sector, as a genre, “is the best category to demonstrate the capabilities of 4K quality”.

“This is the format that we are sticking to,” he said, “but 19

it’s all about the type of content you are doing. Nobody would like to see sports programmes with longer shots, it’s better viewed from many different angles, quickly, one after the other.

“People have yet to experience real 4K. We need to spoil the consumer’s eye. I’ve been saying this for ages. “The consumer doesn’t always know they need anything better, it’s up to us to push them to show them what’s better. When they go back to HD from 4K they say ‘that’s not good’; that perception can be created by media broadcast where the quality of service is consistent. That is the key factor for the success of 4K.”

“We are currently very happy with 4K”

The fi rst of the day’s Keynote Addresses came from Phil Layton, Head of Broadcast and Connected Systems, BBC R&D. “At the BBC, UHD for us means

three things. High resolution – it’s great to have the extra resolution but we don’t believe that actually drives

people to certain TV

programmes. Second is wide colour gamut – we want to see more and more colours coming through, that’s really important. Third, High Dynamic Range (HDR) – the contrast, the better visibility in the light and darks.” In addition, Mr Layton reported that BBC research found that at home people sit about the same distance from the TV as they have always done, which is about two and half metres. He said this means, for most people, 4K works well on screens around 55 inches. “For that alone, we don’t believe, as a distributor mechanism, that we need more pixels,” he added. “There are good arguments around what’s in the panel, and we are currently very happy with 4K.” Mr Layton spoke about some of

the projects he has been involved in, such as coverage of the Royal Wedding last year. “We had our Director General

in recently; we showed him some of the pictures we got, and we couldn’t tear him away. He was completely immersed.”

“The quality of the pictures came out really well. It was a large production; we had two broadcast trucks and one presentation truck. We captured it in UHD, and this included 72 normal cameras plus four cameras working on UHD. 1.9 billion people enjoyed HD/HDR viewing that day.

“HDR drives enjoyment and

carries the detailing in the highlights and in the shadows, this takes us beyond what you can normally see. It’s fascinating.”

“There is defi nitely now more 4K content...”

This was view of Liz McParland, Commercial Director/Contribution, Globecast. Refl ecting back to 2002 and the World Cup that

year, there was only a small amount of coverage broadcast in HD, she said. Then the 2006 World Cup was fully produced in HD. 13 years on, looking back at the World Cup last year and all the matches were provided in UHD. “There’s just more UHD content available now

and when it’s there, people want it,” commented Ms McParland.

“The technology is moving on, which allows us to transmit it much more effectively and much more cost effectively.”

When asked what broadcast clients are asking for nowadays, she said, agreeing with her fellow panellists, that the most requested content is live sports content.

In addition, coverage of last year’s wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was delivered in UHD 4K for the fi rst time. “That’s our only example of covering news events so far. But entertainment shows is also a primary requirement.”

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