How to Deliver Live and VOD UHD Content With Minimum Bandwidth


Thierry Fautier TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Thierry Fautier
Issue 108 - December 2015

Consumers are lighting the path toward worldwide acceptance of Ultra HD (UHD). Recent research from Eutelsat Communications revealed that consumers are willing to pay up to 10 a month to benefit from the increased sharpness, immersion and vivid color that UHD content offers. Theyre also willing to invest in new UHD TV sets priced between 1,000 and 3,000 for screens within the 50-inch range. The same study found that pay-TV subscribers showed a strong preference for linear UHD channels, while viewers that have cut the cord expressed a preference for VOD and occasional, event-specific content in UHD.

While consumer interest has been peaking, the challenge with UHD, thus far, has been delivering UHD content in high quality using minimum bandwidth. This article will examine the hurdles video content and service providers face when delivering UHD content, the current state of UHD deployments and future technology advancements on the horizon for this exciting new video format.

UHD Roadblocks

There are several roadblocks that stand in the way of UHD services being deployed on a global scale, including absence of a single UHD standard, lack of a defined workflow for UHD production and delivery and shortage of infrastructure bandwidth.

Right now there are several standards bodies, forums and alliances working on defining an UHD profile. The Ultra HD Forum is one group making significant headway. Currently, the Forum is in the midst of setting up guidelines for UHD technologies such High Dynamic Range (HDR), High Frame Rate (HFR) and Next generation Audio (NGA). In addition, the Forum is looking to outline an end-to-end video production and delivery chain for live and VOD UHD services.

Additionally, the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) codec has emerged as a viable solution for bandwidth compression, allowing video content and service providers to deliver superior quality services such as UHD using the same amount of bandwidth.

Once the industry agrees on an UHD profile and workflow for end-to-end production and delivery, and incorporates HEVC solutions into their architecture, pay-TV operators can move forward with introducing UHD offerings.

Fixing the Bandwidth Issue

To date, UHD service offerings have been slow to market. Most UHD content today is viewed as VOD via OTT service providers. However, that may be changing thanks to the recent introduction of NASA TV UHD, the first consumer UHD channel in North America launched by Harmonic and NASA.

Not only does NASA TV UHD provide the industry with a blueprint for producing and delivering 2160p60 resolution video, it also addresses the industrys bandwidth concerns. Relying on an end-to-end HD and UHD video delivery system from Harmonic, the channel is able to be delivered at 13.5 Mbps compared with many of the UHD commercial channels in the industry, which have required between 25 and 35 Mbps. The key is superior encoding technology developed by Harmonic to use the power of HEVC compression algorithm.

Technology Advancements for UHD

The UHD standard has only existed a short time, but its already evolving. While Phase 1 of the UHD standard improves upon the resolution of HD, offering about four times more pixels compared with 1080p60, Phase 2 (currently in development) will provide enhancements such as HDR, HFR and NGA. HDR, in particular, improves the luminosity of digital video, enabling viewers to experience a broader range of color and brightness. Making these new features a part of the format will elevate the UHD viewing experience to a whole new level.

2016 and Beyond

Going into the year 2016 and beyond, UHD television sales are expected to skyrocket. With HDR TVs likely to be hitting the market soon, IHS forecasts that unit shipments of HDR TVs globally will grow from 2.9 million in 2016 to 32.6 million in 2019.

After industry groups like the Ultra HD Forum define the necessary guidelines for UHD enhancements like HDR , HFR and NGA, its looking like a lot more UHD content will be available. To ensure theyre a part of this amazing journey in television history, video content and service providers must start making the transition to an IP-based infrastructure and deploy an end-to-end UHD delivery system with advanced technologies like HEVC.


Tags: iss108 | eutelsat | vod | uhd | harmonic | Thierry Fautier
Contributing Author Thierry Fautier

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Eutelsat at IBC 2012

    Eutelsat at IBC 2012

  • Live Streaming Solution from Verizon at NAB 2017

    Live Streaming Solution from Verizon at NAB 2017

  • EBS at IBC 2015

    EBS at IBC 2015

  • TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • SMPTE 2110, UHD and HDR solutions from Phabrix at NAB 2019

    SMPTE 2110, UHD and HDR solutions from Phabrix at NAB 2019

  • Apantac Mi-16 UHD Multiviewer at NAB 2019

    Apantac Mi-16 UHD Multiviewer at NAB 2019

  • Apantac UHD 4k Multiviewer at NAB 2019

    Apantac UHD 4k Multiviewer at NAB 2019

  • QX Hybrid 2110/12G-SDI UHD Rasterizer from Phabrix at IBC 2018

    QX Hybrid 2110/12G-SDI UHD Rasterizer from Phabrix at IBC 2018

  • Apantac 4k UHD HDMI/DVI Multiviewer with KVM at IBC 2018

    Apantac 4k UHD HDMI/DVI Multiviewer with KVM at IBC 2018

  • IMT Vislink HCAM 4k UHD transmitter at IBC 2018

    IMT Vislink HCAM 4k UHD transmitter at IBC 2018

  • 4K UHD Multi-viewer HDMI 2.0 from Apantac at NAB 2018

    4K UHD Multi-viewer HDMI 2.0 from Apantac at NAB 2018

  • JVC 4K UHD Monitors at IBC 2017

    JVC 4K UHD Monitors at IBC 2017

  • Apantac UHD conversion technology at IBC 2016

    Apantac UHD conversion technology at IBC 2016

  • Ikegami 8k camera at IBC 2016

    Ikegami 8k camera at IBC 2016

  • Ikegami HQLM-3120W monitor at IBC 2016

    Ikegami HQLM-3120W monitor at IBC 2016

  • Ikegami UHK-430 camera at IBC 2016

    Ikegami UHK-430 camera at IBC 2016

  • BBright at IBC 2015

    BBright at IBC 2015

  • Hitachi at IBC 2014

    Hitachi at IBC 2014

  • Ateme at IBC 2014

    Ateme at IBC 2014

  • Harmonic at IBC 2014

    Harmonic at IBC 2014

  • Harmonics Peter Alexander on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Peter Alexander on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonic at IBC2011

    Harmonic at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Day 3 of BroadcastShow at IBC

    Day 3 of BroadcastShow at IBC


Articles
TV Futures - The Shadowing Experience
Daniel Jones My name is Daniel Jones, and it is no accident that I’m currently studying BSc (Hons) Television and Broadcasting at the University of Portsmouth. Since completing GSCE media studies I have been constantly questioning what I watch with questions such as, “Wow, how was that filmed?” or “That looks amazing, I wonder how long that took?” It should come as no surprise that I made it a big focus of mine to get myself some real work experience to give myself some answers to these production questions.
Tags: iss136 | portsmouth university | runner | student | education | training | Daniel Jones
Contributing Author Daniel Jones Click to read or download PDF
BSC Expo 2019 Report
Paul MacKenzie BSC Expo returned to the Battersea Evolution on Friday February 1st and Saturday 2nd. It is a busy and friendly event though this year in need of some temperature control: exhibitors around the entrance area were uncomfortably aware of the wintry conditions outside and the main hall was in need of cooling.
Tags: iss136 | bsc | cinematography | canon | c700 | c200 | cartoni | holdan | blackmagic | peli | panasonic | sennheiser | sony | fs5 | teradek | viten | flowtech | Paul MacKenzie
Contributing Author Paul MacKenzie Click to read or download PDF
Living LIVE at BVE with Ross Video
Jon Pratchett KitPlus’ Jon Pratchett chats to Stuart Russell, Ross Video, in the BVE studio. Covering customer partnerships and loyalty, pain points, growth, industry trends, pace of IP adoption, 12g SDI technologies, UHD / HDR, 8k, AI and we try to get a hint of new products on the horizon...
Tags: iss136 | ross video | 12g sdi | uhd | hdr | ip | bve 2019 | bvexpo | Jon Pratchett
Contributing Author Jon Pratchett Click to read or download PDF
4k and HDR Wireless Camera Transmitters
David Edwards Across the globe, live events represented over 50 percent of the most watched TV programs last year. However, big budget episodic shows are impacting live TV and the way viewers want to see their content. Viewers are demanding the same quality of production for live event broadcasts as they see in pre-recorded TV series and films. Producers of live content are looking to new, immersive and cinematic mobile camera views to better achieve these results. This presents a challenge to live production teams as these new camera views and angles must match the quality of the rest of the production -  the demand for mobility means that the cameras need to be wireless.
Tags: iss136 | wireless | hdr | 4k | transmitter | bandwidth | imt vislink | hcam | David Edwards
Contributing Author David Edwards Click to read or download PDF
Sennheiser Memory Mic User Review
Dr Anthony Willman The Sennheiser Memory mic, adding to the new generation of semi-professional equipment that is helping the need for high quality audio in parallel markets that until now, did not have the budgets to achieve ‘great’ results.
Tags: iss136 | sennheiser | memory mic | doctor | audio recorder | Dr Anthony Willman
Contributing Author Dr Anthony Willman Click to read or download PDF