BBC Will Test 4K Broadcasts During World Cup

Posted by at 12:03 pm on June 5, 2014

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The BBC will be trialling broadcasts of Ultra HD content during the World Cup in Brazil this summer. The broadcaster revealed its research and development labs will be performing the tests on 4K video shot during the tournament by Sony, in order to “better understand the latest UHD distribution technologies and standards in a live outside broadcast.”

The testing will be for internal use only, and will not be viewed by the public at all. UHD broadcasts will be sent to the UK via satellite, with the video decoded and then distributed to various research and development facilities over existing broadcast infrastructure as well as using the Internet. Specifically, the BBC wants to look into using HEVC for broadcast distribution over DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) and online, as well as the effectiveness of the MPEG-DASH adaptive bitrate, which adjusts the picture quality based on the available bandwidth.

Matthew Postgate, Controller of BBC R&D, said the trials “will prove hugely valuable in furthering our understanding of UHD technology, and potential distribution models for the future, as well as providing real benefits for license fee payers in the near-term.”

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