April 29, 2014 1:55pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
NCTA 2014: Technicolor Unveils High Frame Rate Ultra HD Set-Top Box
Technicolor is demonstrating a prototype set-top box that supports Ultra HD, or 4K, resolution and a high frame rate of 60 frames per second (fps), this week at the National Cable & Telecommunications conference in Los Angeles.
"4K at 30fps isn’t going to be acceptable for live sports content," said Gary Gutknecht, vp, connected home, Americas at Technicolor, as to why the company feels the smoother look of 60 fps is needed.
On Ultra HD, which is four times the resolution of HD, Gutknecht said, "There’s interest from satellite providers. We’re hearing they want to launch a service." He added though that this is the early days of Ultra HD, so it isn't clear how much 4K will be initially offered.
Technicolor will be demonstrating and discussing its set-top box with satellite service providers this week, and hopes to have the first implementations in place in about a year.
Additionally, Technicolor is showing its developing high dynamic range system. HDR is a rapidly growing area of interest in Hollywood’s technical and filmmaking community as it widens the range between the darkest and brightest images that a display can produce. Technicolor is working on a system that would touch everything from production through display.
A working group at the International Telecommunications Union is investigating several HDR format proposals from Technicolor, as well as from Dolby, Philips, and the BBC. The group is responsible for the recommended specification for Ultra HD, and is considering the addition of HDR. It could be few years before a decision is reached.