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TV industry needs to agree ‘UHD recipe’, says DTG

Simon Gauntlett

Simon Gauntlett

The television industry still needs to agree upon a “recipe” for Ultra High Definition, amid consumer confusion and no clearly defined device capabilities, according to DTG chief technology officer Simon Gauntlett. 

Speaking at the DTG Summit 2015: Driving Global CollaborVation in London yesterday, Gauntlett highlighted a number of  “ingredients” that can contribute to a Ultra HD standard – resolution, high dynamic range, wide colour gamut, higher frame rates and immersive audio.

Gauntlett said: “The real question that the industry is debating at length at the moment is, of these ingredients, what is the recipe that equals Ultra High Definition television? Which one of those, or which combination of those do we need to make a next generation television experience?”

“There is a huge amount of consumer confusion out there already. There’s lots of logos being used and there is no real clarity as to what those devices are going to be capable of, depending on which recipe we end up with Ultra HD.”

He said that part of the DTG’s work is to try and bring together the broadcasters, studios, manufacturers, platforms and retailers to get them to “move forward together” in defining what Ultra HD should include.

“We’re certainly making some progress, but we can’t do this in isolation in the UK. We spend a lot of our time as well liaising and co-ordinating with international forums,” said Gauntlett citing the Ultra HD Forum and the UHD Alliance.

Speaking earlier in the day, Ofcom CTO Steve Unger echoed calls for a clear UHD standard, suggesting a 4K Kitemark with “cross-industry buy-in”.

“We [Ofcom] should not be saying what 4K is, but we should be making sure that when consumers buy a 4K-ready set, that’s what it is,” said Unger who stated a preference for UHD standard discussions to be led by industry players.

Opening the conference, DTG CEO Richard Lindsay-Davis said that the DTG should help “try to find a way forward so that we’ve got some scale in Ultra HD at the point that it launches broadcast services in the years to come.”