Digital TV Group launches the UK UHD Forum

Thursday, August 1st, 2013 
Digital TV Group logo

LONDON — The Digital TV Group, the industry association for digital television in the UK, today announces the launch of the UK UHD Forum. Co-chaired by Chris Johns, Chief Engineer, Broadcast Strategy at BskyB and Andy Quested, the BBC’s Head of Technology for BBC HD and UHDTV, the group will co-ordinate UK requirements to build a knowledge base for the future interoperability of Ultra HD, and will work hand-in-hand with FAME and other European standard organisations. The DTG will also work with broadcasters and the Digital Production Partnership to examine whether there is a requirement for a UK Ultra HD profile.

The UK UHD Forum builds on the successes of the DTG’s HD Forum, and its Emmy Award winning predecessor the UK Widescreen Forum, which together ensured the UK was at the forefront of so many innovations.

More than just pixels

The displays of the future will not only have increased resolution, like the “4KTV” displays already on sale in the UK, but will go much further, bringing a sense of exceptional immersion and depth through advances in colour, frame rate and dynamic range, as defined in the ITU’s Recommendation ITU-R BT.2020 for Ultra HD.

It is vital that the technology step-change demanded by Ultra HD be fully understood prior to any implementation of an ‘Ultra-HD Ready’ logo, to avoid the confusion still experienced by consumers to this day over ‘HD Ready’.

Richard Lindsay-Davies, Director General of the DTG said “This is a real opportunity to re-invigorate the market and through collaboration generate the greatest economic value for the UK. In launching the UK UHD-Forum, the DTG is bringing together all relevant stakeholders to work towards the managed delivery of interoperable Ultra-HD services, networks and devices.”

The HD Forum is in the DNA of the DTG

In 1992, the European Commission produced the Helsinki directive, directing each EU country to set up a High Definition Forum, with a programme of support for producers and broadcasters working in HD.

In 2001, as public appetite for flat screen TV made the move to HD inevitable, the Widescreen Forum evolved into the DTG UK HD Forum, bringing together stakeholders from the whole industry and accelerating the production and delivery of HD across multiple platforms and devices. By launching the UK UHD Forum it is hoped to coordinate fully on opportunities presented by the development of Ultra HD.

The ITU (International Telecommunication Union) published its Recommendation ITU-R BT.2020: Parameter values for ultra-high definition television systems for production and international programme exchange in August 2012.

FAME–the Forum for Advanced Media in Europe–is an initiative led by the EBU and DIF, the Digital Interoperability Forum and supported by the European Commission, and is made up of manufacturers, broadcasters and national HD forums. The UK UHD Forum will act as our national forum to influence and share knowledge on the key steps and barriers to realising Ultra HD.