International Telecommunication Union: we're one step closer to ultra high-definition TVs



International Telecommunication Union: we’re one step closer to ultra high-definition TVs.

[newsimage][/newsimage]Consider this fair warning - that shiny, $3,000 55" HDTV you just bought may be obsolete sooner than you'd expect. The International Telecommunication Union, which helps determine broadcast industry standards, has released new information on its work to make ultra high-definition television a consumer reality.

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I think it will be many years before the industry is going to adopt this. The move to current HDTV formats had enormous impact on broadcasters costs and bottom line. The amount of equipment required for a broadcaster move to a new format comes with a staggering cost in money and resources. Although, with the move to file based infrastructures in the broadcasters facilities, the transition to UHDTV should come much faster than the decades it too HDTV to appear after NTSC.


Much like blue ray optical media, it will take several years for broadcasters and the media industry to actually make & distribute content in the new format due to technical hurdles which must be overcome such as transmitting higher bitrate video on OTA broadcasts and closed & semi closed circuit cable industry subscription networks.

Fiber optic systems such as Verizon’s FIOS could be an early adopter of Ultra HDtv shortly followed by Comcast-- but this all hinges on economic conditions as well plus overlaying & ammending the ASTC (USA) and DVB (everywhere else) standards to include UHDTV. Eqipment would need to be reasonably priced as well. You can’t have much of a success if a 32" UHDTV costs $1500 vs $249 for a regular 1080p HDTV.

Also, technically speaking… there are very few applications that need 33 million pixel screens… maybe sports & live programming… newscasters already adapted makeup and camera technology to adjust to the very enhanced & real wrinkles shown by HDTV cameras let alone UDTV. going from 1920 x 1080 (1080p 60 frames) on screen sizes less than 32" are going beyond the human eye’s ability to detect differences in quality (especially as you age). Back in the day, I used to think 1024 x 768 used to be hot stuff & overkill vs 800 x 600 on computer screens. UHDTV promises resolutions going from 1920 x 1080p (60 frames) to 2560 x 1440 and 3840 x 2160 resolutions running at upto 120 frames (think about 25 mins for a 50gb disc to be filled to capacity-- now you see technical problems about storage of this media). You need FAST & HIGH CAPACITY hard drive arrays to record the media. Until these quantum leaps in technology become smashed down to size, UHDTV won’t be cost effective as regular HD equipment… which will become dirt cheap once they figure out these hardware changes that need to be made for utilizaion of UHDTV. The ITU better hope the hard drive companies can make 25TB hard drives with 10-15x the read/write throughput they already max out at… in the next 9-12 years.


Yet more proof that HDTV was nothing more than huge marketing con. Everyone knew of the sheer pointlessness HDTV had to offer.

Blu-Ray was the biggest offender of them all. Greedy distributors honestly believed that people would re-buy their DVD collection on Blu-Ray - But at least DVD didn’t need the mind bogglingly stupid money required to invest in HD - It still works on my 1991 Toshiba TV! And if it bites the dust, no problem, I’ll just get over to the clearance bin and buy it again for £3.

On a side note, why are we so behind in technology? Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t high definition television showcased in Japan in the early 80s, impressed then president Ronald Reagan so much he called it a national priority to bring it to America? And wasn’t the first High Definition TV released in 1998? If either of these are accurate, why has it taken nearly a decade to catch up?


HD is one of the best things to happen to TV in a long while.

The difference in quality is like going from VHS to DVD and if it isn’t as dramatic as that then the hardware either isn’t set up properly or isn’t as good as it should be.

I switched to Sky+ HD here as part of a special offer, primarily to get the PVR functions that went with it as I was initially sceptical of the benefits of HD.

I’d never go back now and I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The SD broadcasts that I used to watch happily, and think looked good, now seem really blurred and low quality.

HD is here to stay and is quite rightly so.

The 3D TV that has been broadcast here in the UK for a while now looks impressive but it doesn’t have the same draw for me as the original upgrade to HD.



Granted, High Definition does look nice, with sharper images and a supposed better sound quality, the jump between SD and HD is mega. But the fact still remains; It doesn’t justify the cost of upgrading all of my equipment to get something which I probably won’t benefit from.

For example, my parents got as part of a TV / VCR package a Toshiba for £1400 in the early nineties. Considering that it still kicks the crud out of most modern standard definition TVs even to this day is proof of how good it was.

But I digress. I don’t think HD is quite the leap from VHS to DVD - One is a very poor low resolution format, the other is a format without all these problems and clearly superior in every way (We forget that the VHS has been around since the mid 70s, DVDs have only been, realistically speaking, out for over a decade).

DVD was the prime format because it still works with TV sets you can get in the early 80s.

HD is an expensive manouver. I have no intentions of staying with SD forever of course, so once HD becomes dirt cheap like the DVD has, I’ll move swiftly on.


That’s very similar to myself.

I had a 20 year old 4:3 aspect ratio 29" CRT up until a few years ago that had a phenomenally good picture (for its type).

I got fed up not having widescreen and decided it was time to take the plunge and get a large flat screen TV.

As I already had a good surround sound system the Sky+ HD seemed a natural upgrade.

All I can say is I now wish I’d done it sooner.



In my opinion, and granted I’m not a tech buff, is that widescreen is a bit of a waste of time. Pan and Scan is a horrendous format, but not using the full screen… Er, of a screen, seems completely pointless. Yes I know that it’s supposed to preserve the aspect ratio, but now many TVs are shaped like a letter box? :stuck_out_tongue: