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CTOs think beyond resolution

Assessing the bigger picture of technology trends, leading CTOs are excited by the possibilities of extreme data while cautioning against a narrow focus on 4K. “We’re in danger of missing the boat by concentrating on 4K and HDR if we can’t distribute content to mobile and do so far more quickly to keep pace with binge demand,” said Sinead Greenaway, UKTV director of operations.

“When we talk about 4K and HDR we are focused on one use case which is the big screen in the living room but it is the myriad of multiscreen TV use cases that may matter more,” said Paul Dale, CTO, Dentsu Aegis Network.

Discovery Communications is producing 4K programming and would like to do so at frame rates of 120p but even that amount of data is not enough for CTO John Honeycutt. “One idea is to create different viewpoints from 8K data to give someone the sense of being a fan in a stadium.”

One of the possibilities of a move to IP is object-based broadcasting. “Releasing the components of sound and picture for a viewer to interact with is extremely interesting,” said Ulf Ewaldsson, SVP and Group CTO, Ericsson. “We are moving to a point where we can use data for more than just forming pixels into a big block. It goes beyond the resolution of the TV.”

“I think the idea is profound and little understood,” said BBC CTO Matthew Postgate. “It’s about moving the whole industry away from thinking of video and audio as hermetically sealed and toward an idea where we are no longer broadcasters but data-casters.” He added: “I am not interested in 4K. I am very interested in UHD.”