IBC – 4K, HEVC and broadcasters challenge to engage Generation C

IBC2013 is nearly over, we popped over to Amsterdam to visit the show and see what was new in the world of broadcast. The buzz of 4K is a common theme for the show with Panasonic announcing the release 4K Varicam camcorder with Super35mm size high sensitivity image sensor. With a launch date of January 2014, this could be too little to late with other camera manufacturers already ahead of the game.

4k production camera

Blackmagic launched their 4K production camera back in April at NAB but the product is not yet shipping, so customers are eagerly awaiting the shipping date and we are waiting to get our hands on one to have a play with.

The Panasonic 4K tablet that was launched earlier in the month at IFA was another feature at the show. The 20″ 4K tablet  announced alongside other products that form part of what Panasonic is calling its ‘4K Universe’. This includes  4K TVs, devices and access to a wide variety of 4K-ready content.

4k tablet

4K shared Storage

GB Labs announced that 4K shared storage goes on location with the Space 4K Duo, portable UltraHD workflow system.

The 4K location shoot is now commonplace, particularly in film, music video and drama production. However, for digital imaging technicians (DITs) working in the field, UltraHD is extremely problematic. Once data is ingested, replicating the material for insurance purposes can be taxing and the process of offloading files onto the facility’s network is often a slow manual process.

“For DITs in the field, ingesting, sharing, processing and protecting 4K video is a real headache.” Says Ben Pearce, Sales & Marketing Director of GB Labs. “They can store data on external drives but this isn’t particularly safe, and there’s little they can do with the files until they get back to the facility. Space 4K Duo changes all that. Now the facility travels with the production crew: collaborative editing, picture grading, file transcoding and media management can all begin instantly, with full data security in place.”

AMD collaborated with industry leaders – Adobe, Autodesk, Blackmagic Design, Dell, Fusion-io, and Supermicro – to showcase video production workflows with a variety of 4K sources using AMD FirePro professional graphics at the show. These included a demonstration of real-time 4K colour correction with Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 10 and Supermicro, 4K colour calibration, 2D / 3D video effects and post production using OpenCL in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Integrated stereo camera within Autodesk 3ds Max.

4K is being talked about as making it’s mark as the next big evolution for TV, but one thing we considered is how can you really benefit from 4K Ultra HD with TV screen resolutions? Fact is you need an 84″ TV to realise the benefits of 4K and lets face it how many people have a living room big enough to house a TV that size?

An interesting article on CNET discusses this topic in detail and the fact that people are actually buying smaller screens more like half that size for the average household. Imagine the uproar of all the spouse’s if their partners come home with a screen the size of a wall!! Maybe when the OLED becomes so thin you can paint it on a wall it will work in households- a nearly there version was featured at IBC in the ‘Future Zone’ where the TV was built into the wall – great idea, until you want to move house..


HEVC or (H265) was the other big topic of the event, we covered this earlier this year in our brief guide to HEVC. At the show VisualOn announced the debut of high efficiency video coding (HEVC) on LG G2 smartphones to deliver the latest standard in high quality video for consumers. As a result, says VisualOn, consumers will experience optimised data usage, higher resolution video, efficient media storage and seamless playback.

One of today’s challenges for consumers is to get all the exciting 4K/UHD content on TV and mobile devices. Technicolor demonstrated how it is building on its proven expertise in HEVC technology, to provision outstanding user experiences in-home and on the go, offering a first look at its latest products for the connected home.

The first of these is the company’s first HEVC Media Server; which will support HEVC 4K/p60 Ultra HD video. This media server will also feature 8 tuners to offer multi-room HEVC/AVC streaming to multiple connected devices over standard Wi-Fi.

Technicolor will also demonstrate a HEVC mobile Set-Top Box, “SVELTE”. This innovative portable Android-based box allows end users to access TV Everywhere services on their mobile devices over 4G LTE.

HEVC media server

So overall a big shift is coming for broadcasters as IPTV becomes the leading delivery platform for broadcasting 4K. Generation C are driving demand – Its members have one big thing in common: they’re digital natives and exceptionally tech-savvy, they have grown up with the internet and are consuming TV on multiple screens. The big challenge for broadcasters now is to make the second screen pay – how can they do this? Sponsorship and Subscriptions will be key and it will be a survival of the fastest in the broadcasting world!

Convergence of broadcast and HQ video apps becomes more important and broadcasters need to engage with younger viewers via their tablets and phones. Luckily we are perfectly placed to help with creating and delivering engaging digital content – so give us a call and find out how. 0845 6006122 or visit our website www.dreamtek.tv


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About Neeley Casserly, Dreamtek.

Group Marketing Director Dreamtek UK & UAE and The Virtual Forge Connect with Neeley and Dreamtek on Google+

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