NAB 2016: UHD Forum: We’re ‘Complimentary’ to UHD Alliance

The two groups are approaching the future of Ultra High-Def from different angles
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Complete Coverage: NAB Show 2016

Las Vegas — David Price, VP of strategic business development for TV and media at Ericsson and a board member with the Ultra HD (UHD) Forum, started out the press conference for the industry group pushing UHD standards to stress that there’s no competition between his group and the more studio-centric UHD Alliance.

Quite the opposite, he said.

“The UHD Alliance and [UHD Forum] are very complimentary,” he said April 18 at the NAB Show. He and other stakeholders in the UHD Forum shared the latest progress on standards the group has made, including backwards compatibility for UHD services launching this year and end-to-end workflow specs for creating and delivering UHD content.

But just as important as the specs was the assurance that the UHD Forum and UHD Alliance are not working against each other, with the former focused on interoperability and best practices for the end to end UHD ecosystem, and the latter looking at guaranteeing a top-notch UHD consumer experience by setting a standard to meet and via a certified logo program.

Both groups launched in 2015 when UHD first began to gain industry wide traction, with both backed by major consumer electronics companies and studios. However, the UHD Alliance appears to be more focused on playback and content creation, with the UHD Forum pushing to standardize the end-to-end delivery infrastructure and content distribution.

“By tackling different areas of the ecosystem and using accepted industry standards while they develop clear guidelines both the UHD Alliance and the UHD Forum’s work will establish the proper foundation to ensure the next generation consumer entertainment experience will survive a mildly bumpy start and ultimately thrive. It’s looking like doubling down may be the right bet for the industry,” Craig Knudsen, director of strategic initiatives for Dolby Vision Live at Dolby Laboratories and vice chairman of the UHD Forum’s communications working group, wrote in a recent blog post.

As for the progress the UHD Forum has made thus far, Thierry Fautier, president of the Forum said: “We are proud of this collective work synthesizing contributions from content providers, broadcasters, service providers, professional equipment manufacturers, technology solution providers, CDNs, chip-makers and device manufacturers. This would not have been possible without close collaboration with our colleagues at MPEG, DVB, DASH-IF, ATSC, SCTE, SMPTE, CableLabs, NAB and the UHD Alliance, with whom strong liaisons are being built.”

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