TV: New Super High-definition Standards

By John Nixon 23/02/2012 1


LG 4k smallWe’ve all been impressed when watching the 1080p high definition TV standard.

Well hang on to your hats, there is bigger and better coming!

The new 4k standard (some 4.000 vertical lines) has hit the market, as displayed by this photo courtesy of LG.

“Who needs it?” I can hear people ask. Well the way technology is going, we will no doubt end up seeing a whole wall in our lounge or bedroom become a TV screen.

No doubt initial 4k programming will arrive via DVD, however sooner or later people will want to broadcast and/or download programming in this new format.

On top of this, there are other standards in the pipeline, notably 8k or 8 times the definition of current HD programming.

As both Australia and New Zealand move towards a national fibre-optics based network, the transmission of these new formats will create bottlenecks if broadcast as IP packets over the data fibre channel.

Which brings me back to the subject of RF Overlay. This inexpensive but optional system for fibre networks injects a third light wavelength on to the fibre, totally separate from the data up and downlinks. All broadcast TV channels, existing and future, in whatever digital standard are “off-loaded” from the busy data channel and free up tens, possibly hundreds of Mbps of bandwidth.

IP-centric engineers poo-haa RF Overlay as being “old” technology, akin to analogue transmissions and no longer viable in today’s ultra-fast future networks.

This is so wrong! The technology has evolved greatly in the last year or so.

RF bandwidth of up to 5.5 Ghz is now available over the 1550 nm light carrier wavelength. This of course can carry thousands of simultaneously available broadcast TV channels, at whatever current or future definition is available.

It does not replace, in fact it is totally compatible with IPTV, which can still be used for video on demand etc.

Consequently I would sincerely request that any designers of new generation data netorks seriously consider RF Overlay as a fast, cheap, proven adjunct to an IP only system.

Once you have the RF channel, you can easily and cheaply add new programming such as regional and special interest channels.


One Response to “TV: New Super High-definition Standards”

  • Not sure how you could manage to put much in the way of movies on a DVD for a 4k format.
    Currently, a 1080p image will have around 2mb of pixels. 4k will be close to 12.5mb of pixels. That’s going to add up to a lot of data per frame to squeeze onto a disc. I suspect Blu-ray will be the only viable route for a super-HD playback.

    Albeit a widespread fibre network looks to be a precondition for broadcasts in this format.

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