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First Ultra HD Channel Goes Live in Europe
Though Prices Remain Prohibitively Expensive
by Karl Bode 10:33AM Monday Jan 14 2013
European operator Eutelsat Communications says they're the first company in Europe to launch an Ultra HD (aka "4K") broadcast channel. According to the company's press release (via Engadget), the new channel will operate in progressive mode at 50 frames per second, encoded in MPEG-4 and transmitted at 40 Mbps in four Quad HD streams. CES was awash in ultra HD sets offering 2160p (3840×2160) and even 4320p resolutions, though the sets are currently too expensive for most users, and like 3D televisions won't be a "must buy" even when prices come down.

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NO to ESPN

@sbcglobal.net

Ultra HD is Impressive

I saw the Sony 84 inch 4K TV and must say that it is a major step forward. By the time my old Sony 36 inch XBR tube type fails I hope the price is down enough for me to consider. Once there is a broadcast system in the US I expect every sports bar to have one.

I am impressed and that does not happen very often.
Telco

join:2008-12-19

Re: Ultra HD is Impressive

We don't even have 1080P streaming yet so 4K is out of the question for years and will require a FTTH service.
MURICA

join:2013-01-03

Re: Ultra HD is Impressive

Netflix, VUDU, and YouTube have 1080p streaming (although it isn't very good.)

The ATSC specifications allows bitrates up to 19 Mbps. So OTA is plenty for 1080p broadcasting. Over-the-air affiliates could do 1080p H.264 video @ 19 Mbps (almost Blu-ray quality) if they wanted within the current ATSC specs. It's a matter of equipment upgrades, not bandwidth. Once HEVC is released later this year they could fit a 4K channel within current ATSC specs @ 19 Mbps.

Cheapness on the part of the providers when it comes to upgrading equipment has been the problem here and it will be a problem with it comes to 4K adoption. Bandwidth is NOT the problem. The bandwidth capacity is here across multiple formats: over-the-air, fiber, cable, satellite. The only place there isn't enough bandwidth to deliver proper 4K video once sufficient equipment upgrades are in place is AT&T's pathetic U-verse product.

Right now ALL DOCSIS 3.0 cable connections in the U.S. have the capacity to deliver 4K HEVC video via Internet streaming. The majority of Americans can get access to connections that are 50 Mbps or faster. That's plenty to handle the 30+ Mbps bitrates that 4k HEVC video will require.

cast sucks

@dsl.net

so how many QAM channels and satellite transponders is that?

so how many QAM channels and satellite transponders is that?
MURICA

join:2013-01-03

Re: so how many QAM channels and satellite transponders is that?

said by cast sucks :

so how many QAM channels and satellite transponders is that?

That is one QAM256 channel. You can deliver 4K video using a single QAM channel. You could fit two 4K channels on a single QAM channel using HEVC.

If providers like Comcast scrapped three crappy HD channels (like QVC HD, HSN HD, BET HD...) they could fit one 4K channel in its spot.

Using the typical DVB-S transponder with high symbol rate and FEC of 3/4 you have the same amount of bandwidth as a QAM256 channel. So you could fit on a single DVB-S transponder two 4K channels compressed using HEVC.

DVB-S2 standard has almost twice as much bandwidth as DVB-S so this is what they would use to distribute 4K. (unless a DVB-S3 standard comes out soon...)

You could fit four 4K channels on a DVB-S2 transponder.

This 4K channel in Europe for example is on a DVB-S2 transponder.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Waste of bandwidth without content

A channel that sucks down 40Mb carrying content no one cares about for televisions no one has.

Winrar.

CrazyFingers

join:2003-10-01
Columbia, MO

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

Which is exactly what everyone said in 1998 when we were installing $20,000 plasma screens in rich people's houses.
Give it time, it has to start somewhere.
--
Burrow owl...burrow owl...

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

It should start with Bluray 4K.

vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

The problem is that the 4K generation of TV's is also the generation where physical media goes into decline. Besides, it's a lot quicker to use some extra bandwidth on your existing system than wait for a new 4K Blu Ray standard, and then wait for others to manufacture the players and discs. It's more of a proof-of-concept at this point than a serious, commercial venture.

By the way, Blu Ray was a bit late to the HD party, too.

C0deZer0
Oc'D To Rhythm And Police
Premium
join:2001-10-03
Tempe, AZ

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

I fully expect there to be yet another BluRay standard. By count, there's already no less than five revisions of the standard for different things/reasons.

3.0 was basically made for effectively "BluRay audio" - music discs on BluRay. And of course, the only player out there that supports this standard is the PlayStation3. 3D BluRay is done in Profile 5.0 if I remember correctly.
--
Because, f*ck Sony
Donut

join:2005-06-27
Romulus, MI
I agree. Hell we dont even have HD through our Cable Service Provider. It just another way for Cable Providers to make extra cash.
--
Mr. Donut

Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21

1 recommendation

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

I can't imagine going back to 480i, it's so grainy.

(Side note: Our HD content is free, OTA ATSC.)
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

Nothing so awesomely "grainy" as over-compressed HD. And in my market, OTA HD looks like dog crap. It is like they degrade or over compress it on purpose so that you buy through the MSO or DBS provider (where they get paid for re-transmission).

VegasMan
Are We There Yet?
Premium
join:2002-11-17
Schaumburg, IL

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

OTA HD looks good as long as there isn't any sub channels, but almost every channel has at least one sub now, there are only a handful that don't.
--
In need of a Vegas vacation.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

In LA CBS and Fox HD OTA look pretty bad.
MURICA

join:2013-01-03

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

Fox looks bad in every market because it is only 720p.

This is why ABC also looks like shit.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

Fox looks bad in LA because OTA has bad compression artifacts, not because it is 720P. It is like they make it look bad on purpose. Sports programming looks particularly bad.
MURICA

join:2013-01-03
Grainy? That's the exact opposite of over-compressed HD. Over-compressed HD has no grain. Grain preservation requires a high bitrate.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

By "grainy" in quotes I meant compression artifacts.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY
said by Cabal:

I can't imagine going back to 480i, it's so grainy.

Sadly that is mostly what I watch. This.TV, Antenna, MeTV and COZI all run classic programming and that is all 480i. The few times I switch back to newer programming, I am floored at the HD clarity.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

1-ADAM-12, see the man about an overpriced TV that has no content.

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
You would have loved the glory days of VHS and 26 inch TV's. LOL. 480i is grainy??? LOL.

cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27
Not a waste. It's all relative.
In time, the average connection to the home will be 1Gbs. Even a 500Mb/s line will have the over head. Heck, even a 200-300Mb/s line would be fine with room for other services.

Netflix delivers average movie 3-4Mb/s. Since most have 10-20Mb/s modems, its is still a 1/5 of the bandwidth (not talking caps here).

I look forward to when BR is dead, and it all comes down to subscription-streaming and 4K press-on screens! (stick'em on the wall, plug'em in, sync and go!)
--
Splat

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
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AA169|170
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Reviews:
·Clear Wireless
·Cox HSI
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

This is bandwidth no one has in the regular market. DBS and MSOs already compress video to the point it is nearly unwatchable.

If Best Buy wants to grab this channel on a 6' dish to demo TV's, cool, but this has ZERO practical application for anyone not trying to sell a TV.

Even then, stores looking to demo 4K would be better served with a Bluray 4K disc on a loop.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

Could a 2 hour 4K movie even fit on a blu-ray disc?

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Clear Wireless
·Cox HSI
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

I have seen Sony's new 4K BR player for sale in the B&H Photo Catalog. Quad layer BRD (BDXL) holds 128GB. I would guess that Bluray 4K would use BDXL discs. 4K may not even be "Bluray" since it is just called 4K in the description (unlike "3D Bluray"). Without content though it is little more than an upscaler at this point.

»store.sony.com/p/BDP-S790/en/p/BDPS790

stet
Volitar Prime

join:2002-03-08
Utica, MI

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

There were a handful of Blu-ray players from a few different companies (Sony, Oppo, Panasonic, etc) on display at CES with the ability to upscale to 4K but none of them had the capability to play 4K content off of disc.
--
01011001

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

There isn't any content to be put onto disc. But disc is where 4K content should start.

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

said by skeechan:

There isn't any content to be put onto disc. But disc is where 4K content should start.

Disk is just about dead for various reasons. It's like CD's, MP3's are a down grade to a CD but that's where the market went.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

Not to me and certainly not with how usage caps are going in the US markets. Content will need to debut on hard media and then in 10-12 years when 4K sets are the norm and ISPs have caught up with throughput, Netflix will have the stuff.

NO to ESPN

@sbcglobal.net
I was told that most new digital movies are "4K". If this is the case then the product is there the only issue will be how it is distributed. The question I have is if sports or the porn industry will jump start the technology. I understand that 3D with the 4K system actually works so that is another potential area of interest. As far as those who oppose this technology my first guess is that Apple would be in the front (or back) as they have tried to kill BluRay in the past. Those who see the future as product via cable or DSL may be surprised. I want a quality picture, not some grainy, blocky, over compressed image full of artifacts. The price will come down and more people will buy it. This could make a major dent in the projector market as you can have a large high quality picture in a room with "normal" lighting.
dlewis23

join:2005-04-18
Boca Raton, FL
4K Can use any BR disk size but if you put it in the way a movie is intended to be put on a BR disk it will only be 1080p no matter what the disk size is.

The only way 4K will ever be on BR is as a data disk. Which you could do even on a DVD if you wanted to.

Playing it off a BR player will become a problem as bit rate goes up.

•••
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
And that 4k stream will burn up a pitiful data cap in no time if doing it over the internet.

I expect tech to improve, Data caps however will likely get smaller and overage rates higher.(private jets are not cheap.)
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
MURICA

join:2013-01-03

Re: Waste of bandwidth without content

There are plenty of us who aren't on third world Internet connections with data caps.

Verizon FiOS (300 Mbps connections; 20 million households) has no caps.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Prices remain ... ?

Ultra HD sets have been on sale for under three months, in very limited numbers.

Sensationalize much?
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Let's get 1080p first

Our current 720p and 1080i is horrible looking and overcompressed. Let's get that fixed, and move to 1080p before we even think about 4K. Adding more pixels won't help when the compression is so bad.
MURICA

join:2013-01-03

Re: Let's get 1080p first

That will never happen.

4K is the jumpstart required to get good looking 1080p via cable.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Let's get 1080p first

The problem is that most people don't care. I've heard many people say they don't even notice the difference between SD and HD. WTF? Although I would have to say that while it was a lot softer, I was watching a DVD screener rip of a new movie the other day, and that was a better experience than HDTV with all the compression artifacts.

Bandwidth is the issue. The cable providers can't handle more than a channel or three of 4K, if they could even do a decent 38mbps 4K stream (they probably could with MPEG-4). They could do good quality 1080i and 720p, they just don't want to spend the money to get into 1ghz systems and SDV when the majority of their customers don't pay any attention to the video quality.

plk
Premium
join:2002-04-20
united state

For my computer monitor

I was looking to use one as my computer monitor. Not a gamer but that market could use it faster then the tv market.
I watch tv in the corner of my 30" computer monitor. 2560 x 1600.
I would love to jump to a 50" but not at a 30k price tag.