We're still a bit away from Ultra HD becoming the standard for television. One of the things standing in the way is just how much bandwidth pushing that many pixels demands. SES recently demonstrated an Ultra HD transmission that uses the up and coming HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) standard, as opposed to the more established H.264. The 3,840 x 2,160 image was broadcast at a data rate of 20 Mbps, roughly a 50-percent improvement in encoding efficiency over H.264-based MPEG-4. The demonstration was performed with support from SES's partners, Harmonic and Broadcom, the latter of which provided the BCM7445-based decoding box used for pulling in the video. The tech still isn't quite ready for prime time, but we'd say a 4K House of Cards stream is probably closer than any of us realized.
Filed under: HD