Taking a Look at 4K Technology

One hot topic that was discussed all around the IBC was 4K. Let’s take a look at what this new technology means. 

4K technology, or, to give it its official name, Ultra HD or UHD-1, is being mentioned as the next High Definition.  And experts say that 2013 is the breakout year for 4K2K TVs, with a market forecast to reach 7 million sets in 2016. But will the broadcast industry really invest into a 4K workflow – and when? Though hear about a number of 4K TVs that are all direct shippable, there are still a few issues that need to be resolved – apart from the price:

  • Consumers will need set-top boxes that deliver the relatively rare 4K content which is currently available (most is upscaled from HD to 4K).
  • There are not many Live TV cameras available that are able to produce 4K – except Sony’s F55 UHD.  A few, including Ikegami, have in fact skipped 4K and intend to start with 8K in a couple of years’ time.
  • Some countries have no way of delivering 4K, because they have already sold the available bandwidth to the cellular industry or re-allocated the frequencies to digital broadcasting.

If we look at it from a cabling perspective, 4K means that the bandwidth is growing:


  • HD –   1.5Gb/s (720p-1080i)
  • 2K –   3 Gb/s (1080p)
  • QFHD –   6 Gb/s (3840×2160)
  • 4K – 12Gb/s (4086×2160) – also known as UHD-1
  • 8K – 24 Gb/s (7680×4320) – also known as UHD-2


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