DTG’s 4k Plugfests turn spotlight on HEVC streams

The DTG’s UK UHD Forum has held its second 4k Plugfest with a focus on content streamed in 4k over satellite, IP and DTT to UHD TVs and set-top boxes. This DTG members-only event brought together platforms operators, TV manufacturers, audio-video content providers and broadcasters, equipment manufacturers, and retailers to investigate HEVC UHD interoperability.

Testing was carried out on a range of 4k receivers (iDTVs and STBs) representing the available 4k receiver market of 2013 and 2014, as well as new 2015 models and prototypes from leading silicon vendors.

Broadcasters, satellite operators, test labs and test equipment providers contributed UHD HEVC test signals encoded in main and main 10 profiles, covering a variety of resolutions, frame rates, bit depths and colour space, delivered to 4k receivers via USB, modulated as satellite and DTT signals and using MPEG-DASH.

Simon Gauntlett, chief technology officer at the DTG, said: “The DTG would like to thank all the participants and observers who made our second 4k plugfest a busy and productive day. The testing we carried out will be of great value in understanding the HEVC implementation of various 4k receivers.

“This second UHD plugfest signals the DTG and the UK UHD Forum’s continued resolve to practical industry collaboration for the launch of robust 4k TV services in the UK.”

Device manufacturers and the DTG’s testing partners were joined during the day by observers from the UK broadcast platforms to assess the state of the technology’s development.

The DTG’s findings from the day are now being collated to investigate whether there are specifications or guidelines we can create to improve interoperability in the future.

The DTG UK UHD Forum’s first 4k Plugfest was held in October 2014, focused on 4k HDMI interoperability. It inaugurated the DTG’s 4k receiver and STB collection (the ‘4k Zoo’), which continues to grow.

Manufacturers, content providers, and other organisations who would like to take part in future events or make use of the 4k Zoo are invited to contact the DTG on [email protected].

Details of manufacturers involved in the plugfest are available to DTG members on request from Simon Gauntlett on [email protected]. For membership enquiries, please contact [email protected].

Note: 4k or 4K?

The reference 4k/4K is used by the digital cinema and TV industries, with slightly different meanings. In TV, 4k (lower case) refers to a 16:9 aspect ratio image with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. In cinema, 4K (upper case) refers to a 19:10 aspect ratio with a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels.