The Insider’s Guide to Live 4K Production Over the Internet
DELIVERING LIVE 4K CONTENT OVER EXISTING HD WORKFLOWS
LIVE 4K BROADCAST CONTRIBUTION OVER IP – ULTRA HIGH DEFINITION, ULTRA LOW LATENCY!
4K UHD TVs now account for the majority of large screen sales worldwide. With 4K quickly becoming the new norm, broadcasters are facing increased pressure to differentiate and deliver engaging live content for UHD screens. In fact, when we polled broadcast professionals for our Broadcast IP Transformation Report about which technologies they thought would have the biggest impact on broadcasting in the next five years, 4K UHD ranked in second place, behind 5G.
With 4K comes increased bandwidth requirements which in turn can significantly increase the costs and complexity of traditional broadcast contribution workflows over satellite and dedicated fiber. The ability to reliably stream 4K video at very low latency over IP networks, especially over the internet, opens up the possibility for broadcasters to introduce live 4K services while lowering production costs.
MORE PIXELS, MORE FRAMES PER SECOND, MORE BANDWIDTH
4K UHD content has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is four times the resolution of HD video. In addition, content for live sports is typically captured at twice the frame rate of standard HD, that’s 60 frames per second in North America and Japan, and 50 frames per second in Europe and most of the rest of the world. By doubling the frame rate, the size of raw video streams also doubles so that 4K UHD p50 or p60 requires up to eight times the bandwidth as standard HD at 25 or 30 frames per second.
The wide color gamut (WCG) supported by UHD (SMPTE ST 2036-1) and needed for HDR requires that video is captured in 10-bit pixel depths which can increase content size by about 25% compared to 8-bit video. Add all of these considerations up and it is clear that 4K UHD requires significantly more throughput than HD.