Ericsson Focuses on Delivering 4K for a Compelling User Experience
The various pieces of the 4K-workflow puzzle continue to fall into place, but hurdles remain. No stranger to the buzz, Ericsson addressed a significant hurdle — content acquisition and delivery — by showing live, real-time “true” 4K/Ultra HD television (4K UHDTV) video contribution at NAB 2014.
“If the whole point of having Ultra High Definition — particularly in the area of sports, which is premium content — [is] a compelling user experience, why would you change to something that takes more bandwidth and therefore has a higher cost structure? Why would you do that unless it was compelling?” says Matthew Goldman, SVP, technology, Ericsson. “That’s what our whole point of our demonstration is, to show this is a real compelling service, and we’re using the best, state-of-the-art technology today that can deliver that.
“A year from now, 18 months from now, that technology could be different,” he continues, “but the interest [shouldn’t be in] the technology. It should be the compelling user experience, and that’s why we show what we do.”
The demonstration — in cooperation with industry partners BT, Intelsat, Newtec, and Sony — included daily live broadcasts from London in 4Kp60, 4:2:2, 10-bit resolution, showcasing an end-to-end 4K/UHD ecosystem from acquisition to delivery. Ericsson expects live events such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup to drive technologies like 4K/UHD by generating greater consumer recognition and demand.
“I think sports will drive 4K in the home and the revenues associated with those services,” says Fabio Murra, head of portfolio marketing compression, Ericsson. “From day one, we were firm believers that 4K is not just about the spatial resolution; it’s about all the things that make it ‘true.’ This is why we have the demo and we partner with the people that we have. I think people need to take away that 4K, especially in sports, is about the experience.”
At the show, Ericsson also had its eye on a smaller screen and the specific challenges of TV Anywhere. The company’s booth featured demonstrations on how to make TV Anywhere a reality, using a blend of innovative solutions, services, and industry knowledge and vision. The company highlighted how it enables creation of compelling TV Anywhere experiences through the delivery of Pay TV at Web speed, and the ability to make video-centric networks highly efficient.
In addition, the company launched Virtualized Encoding, a unified software solution designed to remove the complexity of TV Anywhere video processing and a brand-new video-processing platform specifically designed for ultra-high-density–stream processing and operational reliability.
Rounding out the company’s announcements, Ericsson launched its Next Generation Playout solution, which leverages its global scale and services leadership to offer broadcasters managed or hosted playout services that can be delivered from a number of locations worldwide.