DVB Approves UltraHD-HDR Requirements

By Tom Allen
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The DVB Steering Board has approved the commercial requirements for the next phase of UltraHD TV, which will be known as ‘UHD-1 Phase 2’.

UHD-1 Phase 1 was approved in 2014, and simply covered the broadcast of UltraHD video. UHD-1 Phase 2 includes the possibility of adding additional features. One of the key new features is support for high dynamic range (HDR) content and ‘next-generation audio’.

High frame rate (HFR) is also covered in Phase 2, although the DVB notes that ‘The development of practical consumer equipment for this feature may take longer than the above features, and thus it may follow several years after them’.

Backwards compatibility, for users already using Phase 1 equipment, will also be included.

The DVB Technical Module will now need to translate these requirements into a technical specification. This will then need to be submitted to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for standardisation.

It is expected that the Phase 2 specification will be finalised next year; the first services, then, would be available from 2017.

Analyst Comment

We spoke to DVB, but it is not releasing the details of the commercial requirements. David Wood said at IBC that the plan was to get the commercial requirements finished by the end of the year, so that has been done. The technical requirement phase will take another year or so. This is frustrating for those that want to broadcast HDR using standards, but DVB has a mature process and a good track record in developing very widely supported and adopted standards, so whatever it says at the end of 2016 will be important, especially in Europe. (BR)