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The future of TV broadcasting formats

Wide-screen, HD, 3D, 4K, but what's the next big broadcaster/manufacturer format push?

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JO
johnnyboy Founding member
"And now on BBC1 in wide-screen, EastEnders..."

It was a 24" widescreen CRT TV from Radio Rentals I had but I always got a strange geeky buzz in the early days when the pres announcer informed us that the next program was to be in widescreen.

Five or so years later, it was HD. Four years after that was the now essentially late (and much lamented by me at least) foray into stereoscopy.

And five years after that, the launch of 4K HD. I must admit that, even on a 75" TV set, I struggle to tell the difference between HD and 4K but I still choose 4K where there's a choice.

I know 8k is theoretically around the corner but are there any future formats we should be aware of into which broadcasters and set manufacturers are investing seed capital for content and equipment?

I know there has been a couple of false starts on this a few years ago but I would love to see 21:9 TV sets become standard.
BL
bluecortina
I’m really not a Luddite, but I was always quite happy with 625 PAL. I realise of course that I am in a very small minority and out of step with almost everyone else.
HC
Hatton Cross
Can I ask why?
I suspect in part of your background on the chalk face of TV engineering plays a part - CRT scanning providing more natural colours, but personally I would hate to go back to 625 PAL SD square-o-screen.
MA
Markymark
Can I ask why?
I suspect in part of your background on the chalk face of TV engineering plays a part - CRT scanning providing more natural colours, but personally I would hate to go back to 625 PAL SD square-o-screen.


SD digital TV, overall was (and still is) worse quality than analogue PAL.The main technical benefit of it being component video based, and therefore removing all the unsightly cross colour artefacts, are negated by the MPEG artefacts. (I'm taking Widescreen as being an artistic rather than a technical advance)

However, the quality of HD surpasses analogue PAL. I sit and marvel and have to pinch myself when I watch HD, UHD and HDR content on line, and look out of the window and watch our phone line that is swinging about in the wind carrying those pictures!

If you'd said to me even 15 years ago, such I thing would be possible, I'd have laughed

It's a shame really the 00s were largely a retrograde step for technical quality

The Aussies and Americans had the better idea of jumping straight to HD with digital telly
MarkT76 and IanJRedman gave kudos
JA
james-2001
For quite a while wasn't 576p50 classed as "HD" in Australia, even though it really isn't? It's just SD, but progressive rather than interlaced.
MA
Markymark
For quite a while wasn't 576p50 classed as "HD" in Australia, even though it really isn't? It's just SD, but progressive rather than interlaced.


According to Wiki, (so should be taken with a pinch of salt) ABC originally upscaled their channel to 1080i, but changed that to 576p in 2005 to squeeze in another channel. I'm struggling to think what possible merit there was upscaling native 576i to p50, given that I doubt their production and Tx chain up stream could handle 576p50 ! Though you could ask the same about producing 1080i from upscaling 576i ?

It seems the Nine Network was probably the first to transmit native 1080i HD, from 2002 ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-definition_television_in_Australia
Last edited by Markymark on 28 December 2020 4:31pm
BL
bluecortina
Can I ask why?
I suspect in part of your background on the chalk face of TV engineering plays a part - CRT scanning providing more natural colours, but personally I would hate to go back to 625 PAL SD square-o-screen.


Of course you can ask but I fear you will be disappointed with my answer. It’s quite simply that I was always quite happy with the overall picture and sound quality when watching programmes on my average sized telly in my averaged sized living room. I’m not a terribly big fan of telly in general and my viewing ‘set up’ hasn’t really changed much over the years apart from ‘going’ digital as they say. We have a very modest 40” telly but no additional sound equipment over and above the speakers in the back of the telly itself. I imagine a lot of people would think that someone like myself who worked in telly for pretty much all their working life would have the latest kit etc but we’re really not that bothered about it.

I must say of course that I can quite understand why viewers do have much more fancy kit than me to take advantage of the latest broadcasting technologies, I’m not a Luddite - as I originally stated!

One thing I would definitely roll back on though is the colorimetry of today’s pictures, I think in the days of analogue (and early digital television) skin tones as produced by studio cameras were much more natural to my eye, nowadays everyone seems to look as though they have stuck their heads in a boiling pot of water for 5 minutes before appearing in front of the camera. Just my simple opinion of course, others are just as valid. Sorry to disappoint.
JA
james-2001
"Luddite"- I'm getting flashbacks to Alan Robson now...
MA
Markymark

One thing I would definitely roll back on though is the colorimetry of today’s pictures, I think in the days of analogue (and early digital television) skin tones as produced by studio cameras were much more natural to my eye, nowadays everyone seems to look as though they have stuck their heads in a boiling pot of water for 5 minutes before appearing in front of the camera. Just my simple opinion of course, others are just as valid. Sorry to disappoint.


Is that the equipment though, or just poor/non existent racking ?

What I've noticed recently (last 12 months or so) is noticeable chromatic aberrations in the corners of some pictures, which are presumably either lens or sensor optics issues ? (My first job in this industry 36 years ago, was adjusting colour registration and other parameters on Sony BVP-330 cameras)
VM
VMPhil
I know some people are of the opinion that we should have skipped widescreen SD, and waited for widescreen HD. But for me, the widescreen aspect ratio just looks so much better for most kinds of programmes, that it would have been disappointing to have a whole extra decade's worth of programmes still in 4:3.
VA
valley

One thing I would definitely roll back on though is the colorimetry of today’s pictures, I think in the days of analogue (and early digital television) skin tones as produced by studio cameras were much more natural to my eye, nowadays everyone seems to look as though they have stuck their heads in a boiling pot of water for 5 minutes before appearing in front of the camera. Just my simple opinion of course, others are just as valid. Sorry to disappoint.


Is that the equipment though, or just poor/non existent racking ?

What I've noticed recently (last 12 months or so) is noticeable chromatic aberrations in the corners of some pictures, which are presumably either lens or sensor optics issues ? (My first job in this industry 36 years ago, was adjusting colour registration and other parameters on Sony BVP-330 cameras)

Non-existent racking and a reliant on softer lighting to reduce crewing demands has had a detrimental effect on output.
Some of the early Sony and GV UHD-capable cameras didn’t have great colours generally, and combined with the lack of spending on better lenses at the same time resulted in some bad CA at the wider end particularly. I know one facility ran UHD cameras with SD lenses for over six months - which looked terrible.
BL
bluecortina

One thing I would definitely roll back on though is the colorimetry of today’s pictures, I think in the days of analogue (and early digital television) skin tones as produced by studio cameras were much more natural to my eye, nowadays everyone seems to look as though they have stuck their heads in a boiling pot of water for 5 minutes before appearing in front of the camera. Just my simple opinion of course, others are just as valid. Sorry to disappoint.


Is that the equipment though, or just poor/non existent racking ?

What I've noticed recently (last 12 months or so) is noticeable chromatic aberrations in the corners of some pictures, which are presumably either lens or sensor optics issues ? (My first job in this industry 36 years ago, was adjusting colour registration and other parameters on Sony BVP-330 cameras)


As to aberrations at picture extremities, I can’t see the pick up sensors being responsible so I would put my money on the lenses. When we bought our first Sony HD cameras (I think they had Fujinon lenses) I was very surprised at the performance of the lenses at the picture edges - mucho fringing. Given the sophistication of today’s cameras I’m surprised this can’t be adjusted out by adjusting the read out addressing of the sensors and linking that to the zoom control on the head - if they can stabilise image size versus focus position then it would seem eminently doable now. Perhaps they can, it has been nearly a decade since I left the industry, cameras were one of my soft spots - I spent a lot of time talking to Sony’s camera expert at the time, you will probably recall his name. They never did sort out the apparent inherent ‘blue’ blooming on the CMOS sensors when looking at narrow spectral highlights. All water under the bridge now although I still look for it!
Last edited by bluecortina on 28 December 2020 6:54pm

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