Super Hi Vision Demo at the BBC at

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Old July 26th, 2012, 04:57 PM   #1
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Super Hi Vision Demo at the BBC

The BBC in association with NHK are trialing Super Hi Vision (8K UHDTV) at the London Olympics, and as an introduction to the new format, are running public screenings at BBC Broadcasting House in London.

BBC - BBC Internet Blog: Super Hi Vision TV Screenings

I was lucky enough to get to see a screening yesterday (25th) of a series of demo recordings, some made by NHK in Tokyo and in the USA, and some recorded by the BBC in London two weeks ago.

The demo was full 8K at 120Hz projected on to a screen that I guess was about equivalent in size and resolution to a 4x4 array of 55" LCD TVs, backed up with a full 22.1 surround sound system - the sound and image quality was phenomenal.

I can only compare it to IMAX (film, not digital!), but without the jitter, flicker and grain of film. The images were absolutely rock steady, and detailed enough to see distant faces in the crowd watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace, and at 120Hz the faces of joggers passing by in the foreground in the shots of Tower Bridge were only marginally smeared.

I was sitting in the third row back, much closer than I would sit for a movie, and the screen filled most of my field of view, but even that close I could not see the pixel structure of the image. Rather than just sitting motionless and watching the screen as you would in a movie, I found myself moving my head from side to side, as if looking through a huge window, picking up on all of the incredibly fine detail in the images.

Close-up shots of Tokyo carnival floats were almost shockingly vivid and colourful, and low-light shots of the crowds showed the only signs of noise that I noticed during the whole demo. I looked for compression artifacts but noticed none at all - incredible considering the huge volumes of data the system is processing.

Shots of the last Shutlle lift-off were sensational and felt totally 'real', reinforced by the power of the 22.1 surround sound reproducing the crackling and popping of the rocket exhaust echoing around the launch site.

Super Hi-vision is not like cinema and its not like 2k HDTV - its just incredibly good at sustaining an illusion of reality and an ideal way of recording big events such as the Olympics, If you can get to see a demo you won't be disappointed.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 12:29 AM   #2
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Re: Super Hi Vision Demo at the BBC

Lucky you!

I hope it comes to India. For the moment I'm content with watching the Olympics on ESPN HD. Sigh.

Big question: Does it look/feel like video?
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Old July 30th, 2012, 03:14 PM   #3
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Re: Super Hi Vision Demo at the BBC

Super Hi Vision looked to me neither like film or video. It has so much more resolution and image subtlety than HD video, more like IMAX film with none of the flicker of film. I've since learnt that the recordings were 60 fps not 120fps, but the images were rock steady, with very fluid motion and no detectable flicker.

If I were to characterize the demo images, it would be that they were incredibly ordinary, by which I mean they were showing me exactly what I would have seen with my own eyes in terms of colour, detail and movement - which is exactly what an imaging system should be able to achieve.

I guess it will take a while to find out how the technology can be used. Obviously live transmission to venues and future-proofed recordings of historical events like the Olympics are the primary uses at the moment.

Movies are already being shot in 4K and no doubt 8K will follow, but I think it will need a new generation of movie-makers to see the potential of 8K just as directors like Stanley Kubrick and David Lean saw the epic possibilities of 65mm film back in the Sixties.

I'm just looking forward to the day when I can buy an 8K camcorder!
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Old July 31st, 2012, 11:42 PM   #4
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Re: Super Hi Vision Demo at the BBC

Engadget has now reported on it: BBC shows off 33-megapixel Super Hi-Vision Olympic footage, we ask: why? -- Engadget
I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 10:13 AM   #5
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Re: Super Hi Vision Demo at the BBC

So producers will be making programmes intended to be viewed on everything from iphones to 8k screens? It's already causing debate over framing for viewing on the small phone screens, as against the HDTV screens, Unfortunately, people are viewing programmes on all sorts of devices.
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