U.K’s BBC Keeps Expanding 4K Broadcasting Related Trials
by Stephan Jukic – July 17th, 2014
The R&D people at the BBC have been very busy lately in spreading the power and clarity of 4K resolution to the masses. First, they made persistent research efforts and compressing 4K signals for broadcast to domestic audiences with 4K TVs via a new data encoding technology known as HEVC, then they also recently announced that they would be broadcasting live 4K UHD video streams of the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland to the public and now, they’re also attempting to take things further by trailing live television broadcasts via mobile networks. This they plan on doing through the United Kingdom’s existing 4G data networks, which should be capable of handling the information needs of HD and 4K resolution video content.
Working in partnership with the British 4G and broadband telecom company EE, Huawei Electronics and Qualcomm telecommunications, the BBC will first broadcast live footage of the Commonwealth Games and shortly thereafter regular live TV content.
The Games broadcast trial will transmit streams of live action over the entire EE 4G network and allow mobile users to jump right into the middle of broadcasts as if they were watching a TV channel that they had just tuned into at home. With this, the BBC hopes to improve not only the reliability of live transmission over mobile devices but also picture quality overall.
The 4K versions of the live broadcasts however will only be visible to audiences watching from a public showcase event in Glasgow itself, which will run for the entire length of the games themselves, capturing every play and movement in 3,840 x 2,160 pixels of Ultra HD resolution.
In addition to the Commonwealth Game broadcasts, the BBC will also be showcasing a live 4K video stream from a 360 degree camera set up at the main stadium for the events. This will be visible to visitors who try out an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset that will be installed at the same location as the live 4K broadcast of the Games.
The ultimate point of all these experiments in 4K broadcasting of this major public event is further development of the eventual (but soon to arrive) technology for general 4K TV broadcasting to U.K audiences with UHD TV sets.
In essence, the BBC is planning and preparing for the eventual roll out of widespread 4K TV transmission as a replacement of current conventional HD. In attempting this, they join a number of other organizations that are working towards the same goal. These include major content producers such as Netflix and Aamazon.com through its Amazon Studios and other national broadcasting concerns in countries such as Japan.
Currently, only the Commonwealth Games themselves will be streamed live via 4K to a limited audience in a single location that’s designed to display the high resolution technology, but the BBCs efforts at live TV transmission via 4G mobile networks are designed with eventual 4K adoption in mind for a wider variety of UHD content.
Story by 4k.com