AMSTERDAM Is there life after HDTV for broadcasters?
Broadcasters already have plenty of things to fret over -- the Web, IPTV and mobile TV, to name just a few. Never mind that.
A handful of leading national broadcasters in Japan and Europe are keen on delivering ultra-high-definition TV, called "Super Hi-Vision."
Some critics, including Andrew Setos, president of engineering at the Fox Group, however, described such an effort "beyond silly." He said, the Super Hi-Vision "too high resolution for humans" to see the difference when sitting several feet away from a TV in an average home.
Laboratories of several national broadcasters, including NHK (Japan), BBC, RAI (Italy) and European Broadcast Union, banded together at IBC 2008 here to demonstrate a live "Super Hi-Vision" feed from central London, carried to Amsterdam via an ultra-broadband IP network.
Super Hi-Vision is a brainchild of Japan's NHK Laboratories. It provides 7,680 x 4,320 pixel (32 million pixels) images at 60 progressive frames a second, with 22.2 channel immersive audio. By contrast, today's HDTV offers 2 million pixels in 1,920 x 1,080 scanning system.
The live Super Hi-Vision feed shown in a 275-inch screen theater screen is truly stunning, to say the least.
Similarly, the same live feed displayed on a large, flat panel screen, installed just outside the theater, showed every wave of the River Thames, even people inside a small boat floating on the river. One could spot a couple of birds flying around the Tower Bridge, even while the camera was set for a long shot of the river.
But there is a rub.