A new standard for ultra high-definition television (UHDTV) took an important step towards becoming reality as experts at the ITU Study Group on Broadcasting Service announced that they had reached agreement on most of the pertinent technical characteristics for a new UHDTV standard.
While consumer products using the technology are will take years to be widely available, broadcasters and others have been working for some time on the technology, which represents a major leap forward in image resolution and picture quality. Recently, Japanese public service broadcaster NHK, which played a pioneering role in the development of HDTV, demonstrated a screen with 33 million pixels, far more than 2 million pixels on HDTV screens today.
In September 2011, a trial UHDTV link was arranged between London and Amsterdam and plans are under way to cover part of the 2012 London Olympic Games in UHDTV for screening at public venues around the world.
"UHDTV promises to bring about one of the greatest changes to audio-visual communications and broadcasting in recent decades," argued Christoph Dosch, chairman of the Broadcasting Service Study Group, which has been working for several years to jointly develop and agree on the technical specifications for UHDTV. "Technology is truly at the cusp of transforming how people experience audio-visual communications."
"UHDTV will create an immersive experience for viewers and will generate a host of new business and marketing opportunities," added ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré.
One important application for the additional pixels available in UHDTV screens might be glasses free 3D. One important difficulty in the development of glasses-free 3D has been the large number of pixels needed on a screen to accommodate different viewing angles.