[opendtv] Re: BBC Shelves Its 3-D TV Programming Plans

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2013 09:27:49 -0400

On Jul 7, 2013, at 12:49 PM, Mike Tsinberg <Mike@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I wonder if 4K has similar fate.... 

I think the answer has two major forks:

1. Vastly improved presentation of information;

2. A completely different way of broadcasting events.

My kids gave me an Apple TV for my birthday. It does a VERY GOOD job presenting 
video content, and works well with my other iOS devices in terms of playing 
video "found" on these devices. It essentially gets transfers the streaming 
responsibility from the phone or tablet to the Apple TV processor and delivers 
it full screen.

But Airplay mirroring of web sites, apps etc is constrained. On my 720P display 
I see a 4:3 box that fills about half there screen, and the resolution of text 
and graphics is soft. (note: I saw this "softness" before when using a DVI 
connector to my laptop). I have not tested it yet, but I suspect that the 
mirroring is better on a 1080P display. 

Given the fact that many new mobile devices are moving to much higher pixel 
densities (my iPad is 2048 x 1536), I think it is quite feasible that  there 
will be demand for something like 4K for applications such as web surfing, 
games, etc. 

This added resolution may help with the quality of some TV content, but the 
real question i:

How much help is really needed?

We already know that Hollywood is far less concerned about resolution than the 
look of their content. They may like 4K for theatrical presentation on large 
screens, but there is little evidence that they need this level of resolution 
(and the associated transmission bandwidth) for the TV in the family room. 

News and talking heads - smart phone cameras are capturing real news every day.

But sports is another animal, and the techniques for covering sporting events 
have not changed in decades - in essence, we are watching the games through the 
eyes of the commentators and the director who chooses the shots and replays we 
watch. This could change dramatically with 4K sports coverage.

With 4K it should be possible to position one or a few cameras to cover the 
entire event WITHOUT any camera moves. To see something close up the viewer 
would simply zoom into the resolution, much as JPEG 2000 enables with still 
images. And with today's CPU and GPU engines, it would be quite easy to program 
a TV to follow specific players or regions of the field, much as a cameraman 
does today. 

So in short, 4K is coming…

It remains to be seen which industry(s) and applications will drive the 


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