Presentations & Panel Discussion at IFA 2013: "Ultra HD (4K) is full of realistic opportunities"

Frankfurt am Main, (PresseBox) - Ultra HD (4K), the next generation digital TV standard, is a "realistic development beyond HDTV with a lot of opportunities for all sides". That is the key message delivered during numerous presentations and a panel discussion given in the TecWatch-Forum at IFA 2013 in Berlin. During the panel discussion "Ultra HD (4K) - Hype or Realistic Scenario?" on Sept. 7, more than 120 trade visitors joined experts from ASTRA, German TV Platform, Fraunhofer HHI, Harmonic, Sky Deutschland, Sony (project partners in the "Ultra HD (4K)" booth in the TecWatch exhibition area), as well as Technicolor.

Dr. Helmut Stein delivered the introduction to kick off the event at the TecWatch-Forum. As member of the board of the German TV Platform he underlined, that Ultra HD (4K) display is the best available product to show high resolution pictures and videos. Hereby it is of minor importance, if and when Ultra HD broadcasted, Dr. Stein replied critics.

Three days after the release of the new HDMI 2.0 Specification by HDMI Forum Inc., Mark Londero, General Manager of Technology Strategy at Sony Europe, discussed stae-of-the-art 4K technology during his TecWatch-presentation: "We are proud to be among the first to offer an HDMI 2.0 technology demonstration at the Ultra HD (4K) booth in addition to Sony booth, showing 4K-60p sports contents such as FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and Wimbledon 2013. All Sony 4K TVs are upgradable to the latest HDMI 2.0 standard, and we anticipate a future path to 4K-50p/60p will be available at the end of this year."

Stephan Heimbecher, Head of Innovations & Standards at Sky Deutschland, added: "We are glad to be able to demonstrate the potential of Ultra HD 50p sports content in the 'Home Entertainment' area at our shared Ultra HD (4K) booth at IFA together with our partner Sony. New live production formats as presented in the 'New TV Concepts' area will benefit from the higher frame rates once HDMI 2.0 becomes reality in consumer end devices over the next few months. We will work together with our partners to further accelerate the development of an Ultra HD broadcast environment in Europe."

"As the leading satellite platform we already offer the necessary basis for an Ultra HD broadcast environment", stated Thomas Wrede, VP Reception Systems at SES in his presentation: "We launched the first demo channel with HEVC encoded Ultra HD content back in April 2013 and recently have added a second channel with HEVC material in higher frame rates to provide our industry partners with reference signals for their equipment developments. Satellite with its ubiquitous coverage, high reliability and bandwidth availability is the operators' ideal choice for launching Ultra HD services."

"Due to the availability of MPEG HEVC and HDMI 2.0 Technicolor now could complete the transmission link with economic set-top boxes and media servers", declared Dr. Dietrich Westerkamp, Director Standards Coordination at Technicolor: "Thanks to our efforts consumer can enjoy Ultra HD (4K) as the next step towards highest video quality".

The important role of MPEG HEVC (ITU H.265) for Ultra HD and beyond was underlined Dr. Ralf Schäfer (Fraunhofer HHI/3D Innovation Center): "Without better compression next generations of digital TV will not have a realistic commercial perspective. Ultra HD (4K) will also speed-up the development of 3DTV from stereoscopic toward glasses-free 3DTV. There is no completion between Ultra HD and 3D, these technologies need each other in order to offer the customer a more immersive viewing experience in the future."

Stefan Meier, a worldwide broadcast service specialist from Harmonic, commented: "The partner collaboration at IFA is crucial to demonstrate not only the importance of high quality encoding, but also the true potential of Ultra HD within a real world transmission scenario. While many of the infrastructure and workflow issues have been addressed by recent advancements, this panel provided the opportunity for a healthy debate to move 4K forward from merely a resolution to a full Ultra HD specification."

In the panel discussion "Ultra HD (4K) - hype or realistic scenario?" Carsten Engelke from cable association ANGA said: The ANGA/DVB booth demonstrate the intensive cooperation between the infrastructures with the topic Ultra HD for the benefit of the customers. "The second Generation of the DVB transmitting standards (DVB-C2, DVB-S2), the new Video encoding standard HEVC and the HDMI 2.0 interface are important building blocks for the efficient and flexible transmission of Ultra HD", said Engelke: "This combination of these new technologies will provide cable customers a completely new TV experience with Ultra HD."

TecWatch exhibit area (hall 11.1), booth 15 (center of the hall). The joint effort of ASTRA, German TV Platform, Fraunhofer HHI, Harmonic, Sky Deutschland and Sony as project partners will feature four showcase areas:

The info and "Home Entertainment" area provides an overview of Ultra HD (4K) with the latest information, including the new white book "Beyond HD" and details about the project team. Visitors can also experience the excellent image quality of Ultra HD (4K) in different home entertainment scenarios from still images to 60p sports content under the slogan "Future is now."

"Ultra HD (4K) meets 3D" highlights how 3D will benefit from the higher resolution that Ultra HD (4K) provides.

In the "Satellite transmission & reception (HEVC)" area the partners will demonstrate that all technology required to broadcast Ultra HD (4K) content over satellite to end customers is now available and interoperable - including a demonstration channel.

"New TV concepts" offers an insight into new product ideas for the presentation of live events in Ultra HD (4K).

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