In January 2016, the Technical Standards Supplement for the Delivery of Ultra High Definition (UHD) Programmes was published by the DPP. This document is designed to help minimise the challenges to the industry when adopting the new UHD format and to help set the direction for UHD adoption in the UK and beyond.
Version 1.1 of the UHD Technical Specification Supplement was published in April 2016 to clarify the wording around the suitability of 35mm film for UHD production.
The published supplement sets out the additional parameters, constraints and requirements for delivery of UHD programmes to major UK broadcasters (BBC, BT Sport, Channel 4, ITV and Sky). In parallel the DPP have also been working with the AMWA (Advanced Media Workflow Association) on an updated AS-11 specification for UHD.
The DPP aims to support the industry’s implementation of the UHD specification through a process of creating test files, feedback and discussion loops and PlugFests.
UHD as a format is still evolving, and will be subject to changes in the years ahead. The main industry standards bodies are still working to define some associated aspects of the format, and the development of equipment for use in UHD production, delivery and distribution is still at an early stage.
The release of the DPP’s UHD Supplement is therefore the beginning, rather than the end, of a process. Alongside the Technical Standards Supplement sits a UHD Roadmap, which outlines the key areas for further development and refinement over the coming months and years.
In the meantime there are a number of options within the standards that will need to be discussed in advance with the broadcaster. These include:
• Frame rate and colour subsampling ratio
• Choice of iFrame or LongGOP codec
• QC requirements
These, along with other developments including HDR and WCG, will be reviewed as adoption speeds up. Some of the key points defined as part of the UHD delivery standard include:
• Progressive format only, at 25 or 50 frames per second
• 5.1 audio is mandatory for delivery to UK broadcasters
• Multichannel audio labelling instead of fixed track layouts
• Descriptive metadata embedded as an XML document
• Defined minimum data rates for each of the iFrame and LongGOP formats at 25 and 50 fps
A generic version of the UHD Delivery Standard Supplement is available below along with the roadmap of activities. Broadcaster specific versions will be released from the individual broadcasters to production teams commissioned to delivery UHD content.
If you have any questions regarding delivery to the new Standard, the please contact your broadcaster (key UHD contact details below).
• BBC contact (to follow)
• BT Sport contact (to follow)
• Channel 4 (to follow)
• ITV (to follow)
• Sky (to follow)