New HEVC format will allow ultra high definition TV broadcasting

Over the last few years at CES, there've been a number of displays showing the future of high-definition television. The resolution in some of these displays has been significantly greater than the 1080p we get today. This future format is called ultra high definition TV or UHDTV. A new Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) format is in the works that paves the way for the broadcast and digital distribution of UHDTV.

The new MPEG standard is called High Efficiency Video Coding or HEVC. The standard is said to provide compression of around twice as high as the current H.264 standard. The HEVC standard became a Draft International Standard in July. MPEG is still working on Scalable Video Coding or SVC, which is another important video format.

SVC will become an amendment to HEVC targeting support for HDTV and UHDTV. The SVC standard is expected to be finalized soon. UHDTV will operate at either 4K or 8K and will require 8 megapixels or 32 megapixels respectively. There is an issue with enabling UHDTV broadcasts today. The issue is that the amount of bandwidth needed for 4K or 8K isn't supported by many digital broadcasters.

8K UHDTV is expected to need bandwidth in the area of 90 Mbit/s with 4K needing about 25 Mbit/s. MPEG expects to complete the HEVC standard in early 2013 with additional amendments coming in 2014. When we might see the new standard put to use with higher definition broadcasts is unknown. An additional standard is in the works that would support glasses free 3-D broadcasts.

[via The Register]