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New Will Ultra-HD be the next standard-def? - 29-March-2009, 15:10

Will Ultra-HD be the next standard-def?

Written by Chris Forrester

On June 12 the USA at long last switches off its network analogue signals. The switch-off will end a long process that started 22 years ago in 1987 when the USA created its Advisory Committee to examine and recommend its next Advanced Television Service. But if it took 20-odd years to get the USA to convert from analogue to digital, shouldnt someone already be starting the process if the 4K or 8K ultra-HD is to be adopted by the US?

The Advisory Committees chairman, from 1987 to 1995, was Richard E Wiley, cited as the father of high-definition TV, and already influential as chairman of the FCC (1974-1977).

A distinguished panel at Satellite 2009, chaired by the illustrious **** Wiley, (just dont ask me to chair the next investigation), didnt hold out much hope for super or ultra HDTV. Tandbergs Matt Goldman (VP/Compression Services) was pragmatic if nothing else, saying never say never but also recognising that the huge legacy of existing receiver-boxes, plasma and LCD screens and other paraphernalia meant adoption of a new HDTV technology was a very long way off.

Don Gabriel (GM/Sales at Echostar Satellite Services) favoured 3D as the next big thing and revealed that both of Charlie Ergens Echostar businesses were actively experimenting with 3D.

Tim Jackson, VP/Media Product Services at Intelsat, said his business would simply love to supply the extra bandwidth that ultra HD would need, but that audiences shouldnt hold their breath. A similar comment came from CBS VP/broadcast distribution, Brent Stranathan, who implied that todays HD deployment, still not complete, was quite sufficient, thank you!
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