Almost every article in the consumer press about 4K television begins and ends with the mantra "but there is no 4K content", which is normally followed by "therefore there will never be a demand for 4K television". But while the first part of this might be true now and in the immediate future, the same was true for HD TV, Colour TV and even TV in the first place, in the 1930. In other words, they all happened, despite the initial lack of content.
One real issue, though, for professionals working with 4K equipment, is a lack of high quality test material - especially content that spans the sizes and specifications of 4K.
To address this shortfall, UK company TestVid has launched a new set of 4K 3D and 2D video test suites to cover just about every testing situation.
The video content is supplied on a USB hard disk, with the 3D version comprised of nearly 2TB of video, while the 2D version is 1TB.
Crucially, although the video is provided in uncompressed 4096x2304 12-bit 4:2:2 in YUV format, a utility programme is provided to allow a wide range of conversions, such as:
- multiple resolutions including 4096x2304, 4096x2160, 3840x2160
- any bit depth from 8-bit to 16-bit per component
- 4:4:4, 4:2:2 and 4:2:0
- YUV and RGB color spaces
- BMP and TIFF16 files (one file per frame)
- and incorporation into AVI files or use in common NLEs
The range of available formats mean that these test videos can be used with just about any other equipment for real-time playout (and also loaded into NLEs such as Apple's Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere and Editshare Lightworks).
The clips are provided with full documentation about scene contents and codec features that can be tested. 3D clips include full information about inter-ocular spacing and 3D depths.
More information is available from Thomas Dove at www.testvid.com