Thursday, 2 August 2012

The next generation of HD television

The London Olympics has just showcased the world's first live broadcast of the latest viewing technology - super hi vision, with pictures 16 times as sharp as HDTV and multi-channel surround-sound.

The BBC's media correspondent Torin Douglas considers its benefits and finds out what viewers think of it.
Ever since the first Olympic radio transmissions from Paris in 1924, broadcasters have used the Games to demonstrate the latest next-generation technology.

The 1948 London Games were the first to be televised in people's homes. The 1964 Games in Tokyo pioneered colour TV.

And in 1984 the Los Angeles Games were the first to be broadcast in High Definition, which eventually reached UK homes more than 20 years later.

The BBC is broadcasting more than 2,500 hours of high definition television during the Olympics Now, 64 years later, Olympic swimmers in London are again being televised using the latest technology.
Super hi vision, developed by the Japanese broadcaster NHK, provides ultra high definition pictures - 16 times as sharp as high definition images, which themselves are four times as clear as standard TV pictures.
The sound is much better too. HD surround-sound uses 5.1 channels and is very impressive. Super hi vision uses 22.2.

Tim Plyming, who leads the BBC's Olympic trials of the system, says they are building on the history of innovation at the event.

"The scale of the Olympics is a great testing bed," he explains.

"Most of the big leaps in technology that we've known - from black and white to colour and from standard definition to high definition, and now to ultra high definition - have all had their home at the Olympic Games."

Super Hi-Vision video equipment was developed and supplied by Japanese broadcaster NHK Plyming says the picture is so clear it is like looking through a glass wall into the stadium or aquatic centre. Other broadcasters claim it is a truly immersive experience that feels just like being there.

But others disagreed. "If it wasn't for the visionaries in broadcasting and video technology we would still be watching 405 line black and white television," declared one correspondent.

But don't expect to find super hi vision on the high street soon. HD took more than 20 years to progress from the Los Angeles Olympics into UK homes, and the latest next-generation technology will not be available domestically for some years.

And apart from the likely cost, who has room for a 300-inch screen?

No comments:

Post a Comment