Hoffman: We Must Solve Content/Vendor Disconnect

The EBU’s Hans Hoffman has warned electronics makers about the ‘dangers’ of moving too fast with UltraHD TVs.

During a presentation at the TVBEurope 2020 conference, in London, Hoffman said that makers’ short-term goals of raising TV sales are forcing broadcasters to adopt immature technologies. This could create a lack of viewer satisfaction. Some of the products could also be incapable of interoperability.

From left: Hans Hoffmann, Richard Smith (BBC) and Howard Lukk (Disney)Electronic makers and other manufacturers require an overall UltraHD industry standard, said Hoffman. This would help to develop display technologies like enhanced colour, HDR and HFR. Each of these aspects is included in the ITU’s BT.2020 standard – although this has not been widely accepted yet.

Hoffman said that many makers have opted to take ‘shortcuts’ to enable these technologies. They are happy to include wide colour, high resolution and HDR, but struggle with high framerate, which broadcasters want. This is bad for broadcasters, who need to plan several years ahead for their broadcasting mechanisms; they cannot implement technology quickly, especially if it will be a ‘flash-in-the-pan’.

Hoffman’s conclusion was that it is highly important to disconnect the evolution of consumer displays from the debate over the definition of a future-proof bitstream. These bitstream should be ready to handle all image enhancement aspects, as well as new audio technologies. Once this is achieved, the content landscape will be ready for new display technologies.