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Latest Video News: UHD Alliance Looks for Support; NAB Show

Consumer electronics isn't the only market looking to push 4K and UHD. The broadcast community is also working on the advancement of new video formats.


The UHD Alliance has a number of well-known members, including Netflix, Sony, Sharp Electronics, Panasonic, Dolby Labs, Technicolor and many others. Looking to bolster its support, the industry group is looking to add new members.
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The founding members of the UHD Alliance group have issued a call for contributors to join its mission to advance a new entertainment experience for Ultra HD with features such as as high dynamic range (HDR), wide color gamut, high frame rate and advanced audio.

The goal of the Alliance, which includes entertainment, technology, consumer electronics and distribution companies, is to ensure these technologies—coupled with performance metrics—will deliver a premium entertainment experience throughout the Ultra HD ecosystem from content creation to consumer enjoyment.

“The members of the Alliance have joined together in a united effort to advance and maintain the highest standards for premium entertainment experiences,” says Hanno Basse, president of the UHD Alliance. “Following the establishment of our organizational structure, work scope and goals, we are now welcoming new contributing members.”

In addition to working discussions around technical specifications and certification details, the UHD Alliance will help develop industry standard branding so that consumers can clearly identify certified premium UHD content and devices offered in the marketplace.

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In other UHD news, the annual NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) trade event is right around the corner (April 13-16), and the broadcast industry is set to push forward with initiatives like ATSC 3.0 and UHD, through a new generation of equipment to streamline the transmission of these formats.

During the show, one of the most important product introductions may be the Beamr demonstration where it shows its media optimization technology said to reduce video bit rates by as much as 50 percent. Considering the use of adaptive bit rate (ABR) and other methods used by broadcast entities and the associated costs of implementing these solutions, Beamr says that ABR could adversely affect the quality of UHD content by lowering the bit rate.

The company states when its technologies are used with H.264 and HEVC (high efficiency video coding), the user experience with UHD can be improved. Given the licensing issues that could affect the adoption of HEVC, technologies such as Beamr’s could play an increasingly important role in the rollout of advanced television services. 

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Validating the shifting consumption of content, newly released data from Parks Associates estimates that 57 percent of U.S. broadband households subscribe to over-the-top (OTT) video services such as Netflix and/or Hulu Plus.

The Texas-based research firm states that consumers spend $9 per month on Internet video, which is $2 more than what was spent in 2012, and the number of hours consumers spend watching this content is also increasing.

“The number of hours watching video content continues to rise, exceeding 36 hours per week in 2014, with Internet video accounting for 37 percent of that time or approximately 13.4 hours per week,” notes Brett Sappington, director of research, Parks Associates. “Rather than cannibalizing the consumption of broadcast, pay-TV, and packaged media content, Internet video is increasing overall consumption levels for video.”



  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at [email protected]

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