Panel Session Debates Quality and Containers

Following the talks by Semenza and Hsieh, there was a panel session that was introduced by Paul Gray who asked, “Why UltraHD?” Looking at TV by region:

* China – there is no clear winner in terms of local TV set brands – they are all fighting. The makers are showing competence compared to Japan and Korea and are looking to exports to boost production

* Japan is looking to “raise the technical bar” with Super Hi-vision and revive its consumer electronics businesses

* Korean makers are trying improve their loss-making performance and defend against Chinese brands

* Taiwan is trying to move away from commodity LCD panels and to compete against China

Gray then went through the UHD-1 to UHD Phase 2 and UHD-2 transition.

Gray introduced the panel:

Danny Tack is from TP Vision which runs the Philips TV business in Europe. The company has nine facilities in Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Poland and China. There are four innovation centres including a new one in Ghent – integrating Eindhoven, Amsterdam and Bruges operations.Tack is responsible for the picture quality chain in product development.

Hans Hoffman is from the EBU which works to support public service broadcasters in Europe and North Africa.

Joe Kane is from Joe Kane Productions, and Kane said that he is involved with a lot of activities in Hollywood aiming to break away from the limitations of CRTs. One question is whether UltraHD can completely replace FullHD.

Fabrice Estormel is from Panasonic and looks after the TV business for the company in Europe.

Roland Vlaicu is from Dolby which has been working on Dolby Vision for around 5 years.

Gray started the questions by asking about getting content to the screen. Kane said that Hollywood wants something that is really compelling. Shouldn’t 1080P be included as part of UltraHD if it is compelling in terms of dynamic range and colour? That’s what Hollywood wants.

Vlaicu said that Dolby has seen tremendous response in consumer tests to its Dolby Vision technology, which supports extended colour gamuts and high dynamic range. Hoffman said that there is a standard for UltraHD which covers resolution, high dynamic range, colour and frame rates. The EBU has performed blind tests and at normal viewing distances, the viewer will not see the difference between a FullHD signal on an UltraHD set. High frame rate is appreciated for soccer and is an important parameter at any viewing distances. HDR depends on content and genre and viewing conditions. In a bright room, the advantages of HDR go down. No viewer testing has been done on colour gamut yet.

Over the whole chain from camera, Hoffman said, there are a lot of barriers to delivering that high quality content.

Estormel said that although there is a lot of content that was filmed in 4K, much of that content has not been stored in UltraHD! Tack said that sets can already produce 100Hz sets, and HDR is great, but you need more brightness and that’s against the trend in the industry which has been moving into lower brightness.

Kane said that production has been in 4K for 22 years. 4K was better at the production stage for creating 1080P Rec 709 content and that is almost always how content has been archived. He said that even some content at 1080P, 24 frames with Rec 709 gamut is being described in Hollywood as UltraHD and sports production companies want to be able to call sports broadcast at 1080P60, UltraHD. Kane said that a “container” for content might be a more flexible way to deliver content and might have a rec 709 and a P3 gamut set of data in the container.

Estormel said that for larger sets, there will not be a choice of buying less resolution than UltraHD. The question is how to get good content to the home. There is no issue with persuading consumers to buy UltraHD, in his view. Tack said that for smaller sets, gamut, HDR and refresh rates is more of an advantage.

Hoffman said in response to a question about 8K, that there needs to be a decoupling between production and display. NHK will announce a new roadmap to be more aggressive about the move to Super Hi-vision (or 8K as it is often known). The EBU has sent to DVB the requirements for UltraHD and is asking the DVB to develop standards.

Viaclu said that Hollywood has better content and would like to set a new premium level beyond 1080P for content as the price of 1080P and 720P has got closer.

Kane said that there are new content capture systems which can then be rendered to the final device. It will take some time to create this workflow that will “preserve everything” in a container. The container might be delivered to the consumer and the final device can choose the best way to render the content, according to the capabilities of the consumer’s system.

Display Daily Comments

This was an interesting session, with a good panel. It really led to the conclusions about video quality that I have put in my blog and in the introduction to our IFA report.