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4K TV May be as Common as HDTV by 2015

If you’ve been waiting too long for 4K TV channels to arrive in the UK, then worry not as
a new Ultra HD TV broadcast specification has just been approved for use in Europe by the DVB Steering Board.

The new DVB-UHDTV Phase 1 specification means over the air transmissions of content in 3840×2160 resolution at 60Hz, plus also means increased colour depth with 10 bits per pixel, a rise from the previous 8.

This specification, once standardised for use across Europe, will mean a torrent of 4K TV channels will be able to start broadcasting over both satellite and traditional broadcasting outlets.

Sony’s Bravia 4K TV range includes some of the most advanced 4K TV’s around.

Benefits of 4K include a massive increase in overall picture quality, plus major strides in colour depth, double the the horizontal and vertical resolution and four times the number of pixels. Putting that in perspective, that’s nine times the amount found on a 720p picture.

Whilst the broadcasting element of getting these resolutions out to the general public is well on the way to being accomplished, users with a 4K TV will still have to wait for a compatible set-top box in order to receive the channels, as current model tv’s are hopelessly under equipped to deal with this new broadcast standard.

Even if your 4K TV does include the proper encoding, you’re still either going to have to shell out for a set-top box or alternatively, you can wait until 2015, when TV’s with the technology built in are most likely to arrive.

While great news for 4K enthusiasts, there are some caveats to all this excitement. The main one being that the new specification is completely incompatible with any of today’s TV tuners, even the ones inside brand new 4K TVs with HEVC decoding built-in.

So if you’ve bought a 4K TV already, you’ll need to splash out on a set-top box as and when. If all goes to plan, we would expect compatible TVs to start shipping in 2015.

Currently, 4K TV’s are really only for those who absolutely know what they’re doing, being mainly used by PC gamers looking for ridiculous graphical advantages over consoles, or specialists showing off the tech for the first time. It’s all up in the air at the moment, but what we do know is that this is the first step in convention 4K television sets being a standard thing, just like HD was years ago.

So stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted.

Source: DVB Steering Board, Via Digitalspy

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