AUSTRALIA will become one of the world’s leading authorities on the next generation of television later this year as it joins a handful of countries around the world to broadcast 4K entertainment to viewers.
4K broadcasts from pay-TV provider Foxtel, including ultra-high definition coverage of Australian cricket matches, will put Australia on the 4K map alongside countries such as the United States, South Korea, Japan, and Germany. But experts have revealed that self-service broadcast networks could join the 4K revolution, despite efforts to test new broadcast technologies and more than one in 10 Australian households already using 4K displays. Foxtel (partly owned by News Corp) has announced plans to launch Australia’s first 4K channel earlier this week, making it available to the company’s satellite customers using an iQ4K decoder.
Product group director Michael Ivanchenko said the new channel would offer 4K films, documentaries, concerts, and a “preview of all possible genres in 4K”.
But the coverage of the 4K channel would be the national sports coverage, including Australian cricket matches. “The universal reaction is” wow, I can see the player but I can also see the crowd behind them and their exact expressions, “he said.
“For the first time, the whole picture is in focus, and not just what the cameraman focuses on.” Enhanced TV shows, offering four times more detail than high-definition images, would also allow viewers to be better able to make decisions about video referee decisions – for better or for worse. “Over time, we will add other sports,” said Ivanchenko.
“The challenge we face is that there is a limited amount of 4K equipment in the country and that bringing these signals back to the mix of broadcast centers and control rooms is a real challenge.”
Australia’s first 4K TV channel will arrive a few months after Broadcast Australia and FreeTV hosted the country’s first free 4K broadcast trials in Sydney. Broadcast Australia chief executive Peter Lambourne said the test of the new DVB-T2 broadcast platform covered the FIFA World Cup match between Australia and France, a performance Bangarra Dance Theater.
“You have to test these things to determine what is really possible and what we want to achieve so that we, as an industry, can align and discuss with the government how we are going to proceed,” he said. declared.
“It’s an embryonic stage right now, and the audience is increasingly demanding:” I want to see it, I want to see it now and I want to see it in the format I want to see. ”
“As they are exposed to seeing things in 4K, it will further stimulate the demand and we will wonder why we can not do it in terrestrial form.”
Harvey Norman’s general manager, Ajay Calpakam, said that being able to view 4K content on a TV without having to broadcast it or buy more equipment would be “consumer music” that often struggling to make the most of their widescreen TVs.
Despite the fact that the test proved that 4K signals could be broadcast in Australia, Lambourne said that replacing the platforms would take years. FreeTV CEO Bridget Fair said upgrading the HD broadcast to 4K will be the biggest change for television since the end of the analog broadcast, but is expected to last less than 12 years.
“Part of the test (4K) was to determine the technical characteristics of this technology, then work on a project plan, a business case and discussions with the government,” she said. “There are a lot of moving parts before we know what the deadlines are and what the path is.”
Fair said the demand for 4K TV from consumers was obvious, just as there was “a huge demand for more HD sports” when launching digital TV signals. Despite delays in broadcasting 4K broadcasts, research firm Telsyte has revealed that 15% of Australian households already have a 4K television and that this figure should reach 50% by 2022.
Tony Brown, head of home entertainment marketing at LG Electronics, said that until now, Australia was lagging behind in 4K content, and talked about providing the technology needed to the moment.”In many ways, 4K hardware far exceeds the availability of content,” he said. “This is the perfect time to start conversations and challenge so that the programs and government involved can improve the situation.”