Broadcasters signal the end of broadcasting

Written by David Shapton

BBCOne small leap for a frog: one giant leap for broadcasters

The BBC's new trial of 4K HDR is perhaps more significant for the how it's happening rather than the what it is testing.

In case you missed this, the BBC has started a very limited trial of 4K HDR material (interestingly not bothering with mere 4K and jumping straight into the boiling cauldron of competing standards that is HDR). 

This trial isn't via conventional broadcast means. Instead it comes to you via the iPlayer, or at least, iPlayer technology. And it makes a very important point: why bother with broadcast now anyway? Why even bother figuring out how to pump this stuff over the airwaves?

Well, perhaps that's taking it a bit far. But the simple fact is that today — and increasingly so in the future — innovation is going to be through the internet. The internet doesn't impose ancient standards, and it's completely adaptable to new ones. Virtually any smart device (computers, phones) can download software to decode practically any format.

I'm not saying that we might as well turn off broadcast TV today, but (and this is from a completely biased position where I have extremely fast broadband) IP video delivered over the Internet will be pervasive and ubiquitous within a few years. Series like WestWorld and Planet Earth II in 4K HDR will make sure of that. 

The exciting thing is that neither the BBC nor any other broadcaster needs additional infrastructure to distribute 4K HDR material. If they wanted to, they could send this new format to everyone, tomorrow, subject only to arrangements with streaming providers. 

Unless, of course, if you live in a rural location with only around 1.5 Mbit/s or less, as many do, then please disregard all of the above.

Tags: IP Video


Related Articles

30 July, 2020

ATEM Mini Pro ISO: Take your live edits right into DaVinci Resolve

Blackmagic Design has announced a new version of the ATEM Mini Pro, the ATEM Mini Pro ISO, which will record your live production straight into a...

Read Story

22 July, 2017

Panasonic builds NDI (NewTek's Video over IP technology) into new cameras

Plug n' play with the new Panasonic PTZ cameras

NewTek's NDI is being seen increasingly as the de facto standard for live video production, and...

Read Story

12 June, 2017

How IP was essential in covering a leading eSports Minecraft tournament [sponsored]

Part of the set-up at Insomnia 60

Newtek’s IP-Series production system was used by the UK’s Digital Tree Media when it was charged to run the...

Read Story