Ultra-HD clearly on SMPTE radar

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NHK's developing Ultra-HD technology, which includes a resolution of 8K — or 16 times the amount of picture information found in today's HD format — has been dazzling audiences at preview demonstrations. Now, standards-setting body Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers is close to completing technical standards for Ultra-HD, which are expected to be released by year's end.

NHK had asked SMPTE to begin the standards-setting process, though it is viewed as being 15-20 years away from mainstream use.

"This is a good time to nail down some parameters during the evolution so that we can learn more about how we want to use it," said Peter Symes, director of standards and engineering at SMPTE. "NHK is seeing it as a standard that will support very large displays with a lot of information on them, and that information won't always be one single picture. The sort of thing that NHK envisions is a wall in your house that's one big television screen, and various things might be happening on this at the same time. You might see a movie on one screen or kids might be doing their homework on another."

SMPTE's Technical Conference & Exhibition runs today through Saturday at the Brooklyn Marriott.
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