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Ultra-HD TV channel launch moves a step closer

Monday, July 7th 2014 by Nigel Adie
Launch of ultra-HD TV channels moves a step closer (Thinkstock/iStock)

The DVB Steering Board has introduced a new specification for 4K TV.

A new broadcasting specification for ultra-HD TV services has been approved by the DVB Steering Board, bringing the launch of 4K channels in the UK a step closer to reality.

Pictures with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels can be transmitted over the air at 60Hz through the new specification, known as DVB-UHDTV Phase 1. 

It is designed to achieve much improved colour depth of ten bits per pixel, rather than eight.

Once it has been standardised across Europe, the specification is expected to pave the way for the introduction of 4K services on satellite and through-the-air platforms throughout the continent.

The new solution is based on the HEVC compression system, which is also used to deliver ultra-HD content for video streaming service Netflix.

Phil Laven, Chairman of the DVB Steering Board, explained: "HEVC is the most recently developed compression technology and, among other uses, it is the key that will unlock UHDTV broadcasting."

Some high-profile broadcasters are already experimenting with ultra-HD, with the BBC announcing last month it will be demonstrating the technology during this summer's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

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