DPP launches UHD standard

The Digital Production Partnership has revealed a new standard for the delivery of Ultra High Definition
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Mark Harrison

The Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has revealed a new technical standard for the delivery of Ultra High Definition (UHD) programmes.

The Technical Standards Supplement for the delivery of UHD Programmes is the first future-focused delivery standard to be announced by the DPP. It builds on the existing HD delivery standard, and is designed to help minimise the challenges to the industry when adopting the new UHD format.

The DPP worked with the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AWMA) to extend the AS-11 standard to include UHD parameters, and to revise the way that metadata is carried within a programme file.

The new standard will be adopted by major UK broadcasters (BBC, BT Sport, Channel 4, ITV and Sky) when they move to UHD programming.

“When the DPP defined a common standard for file-based HD programme delivery, we were replacing the use of videotape for HD delivery,” said DPP managing director Mark Harrison (pictured). “But UHD is the first delivery format that has never existed on tape; and it is very exciting for the DPP and its members to be able to help the industry get ready for this major upgrade in television picture quality.”

New formats require changes to how programmes are made. The UHD Production Workflows Guide outlines the key considerations when producing content in this new format. The guide builds on the DPP’s 2012 report, The Bloodless Revolution: A Guide to Smoother Digital Workflows in Television, and uses the same high level workflow as a framework to provide information, guidance and direction to production teams making UHD content.

The final document to be released is UHD - For Real. The report is the output from the latest DPP at Home event, which focused on how and when UHD will enter the mainstream. Among the key insights in the report is the projection of late 2017 as the ‘take off’ moment for the UHD format.

The DPP is also releasing a UHD Roadmap, alongside the Technical Standards supplement, which outlines the key areas for further development and refinement over the coming months and years.

The main industry standards bodies are still working to define High Dynamic Range, as well as the development of equipment for use in UHD production, delivery and distribution, which is still at an early stage.

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