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EBU: Ultra high definition television will be launched in two stages

Ultra high definition television will be launched in two stages, according to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

The first, UHDTV1, will have four times the detail of the best HD TV today. The second, UHDTV2, will have 16 times the resolution. “You need these ever larger jumps in resolution to make an impact on quality, because a ‘square law’ applies to resolution and quality,” the EBU said.

The EBU had planned a planned demonstration of UHDTV2 from Japan’s broadcaster NHK at the NAB trade show, taking place in Las Vegas this week, but it was cancelled because of events in Japan.

The EBU said the resolution for HD TV was largely settled, but added that many technical issues remain, including what picture rate the UHD TV systems should have. Current TV systems use a range from 24Hz to 60Hz. For UHD TV, the EBU said a “summary of the NAB mood” suggests 120Hz is the most popular number, though this remains to be agreed by standards bodies.

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