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CES: Full-HD, Quad FullHD, SHV

Okay, you all know about FullHD. Nothing much to explain here. Quad FullHD
with a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels is about to come to us (also known as 4k)
BBC and NHK think, that Quad FullHD isn’t satisfying enough for the upcoming
London Olympic games in 2012. SHV (Super Hi-Vision) is the answer!

Okay, let’s dig a bit into the basics.

What are we talking about anyways? First get a look on the following image to see the dimensions:

As you can clearly see, with each new standard, the amount of pixels multiply by 4.

Today, the AVC-Codec rates at 40 Mbit/s to transfer a FullHD picture at 24p lossless. That means, 5 MB/s!

The next-Gen TV where first devices get available this year, will be also served by an advanced version of the AVC.
With up to 180 Mbit/s a 4k picture at 3840×2160 (Quad FullHD) will be displayed lossless. However the data rate jumps up to a whopping 22.5 MB/s. For a classic bluray disc this means (if ever planned to do so…) only a mere 38 minute film would fit on a 50GB bluray-DL disc. BD-XE is on the roll already providing approx 120GB of capacity meaning that a 94 minutes film may fit on that disc. Sounds neat but no release date yet is known.

For all those, if HDMI is capable of transferring these ridiculously high data rates… yes it is. 1.4a is capable of transferring 3840×2160@24 while a new, yet unnamed updated HDMI specification (probably 1.5) allows the transfer of 3840×2160@60 which is the full spectrum then.

Okay enough bla bla on the last two specifications. BBC and NHK plan to show the London Olympic Games 2012 with the all-new SHV resolution on public viewing. What this means? Screens with a resolution of 7680×4320 can be addressed allowing a ultra high definition of a picture.

However I doubt that this will be fit for commerce until the next 5 years. Alone the fact that the video codec must be capable to transfer about 800 Mbit/s or 100MB/s requires a high-Capacity network to do so. And what about Bluray and it’s upcoming decessor? Well, let’s do some math:

1920×1080 -> 40 Mbit/s = 10240 seconds on a BD-DL and 25600 seconds on a BD-XE
3840×2160 -> 180 Mbit/s = 2275 seconds on a BD-DL and 5688 seconds on a BD-XE
7680×4320 -> 800 Mbit/s = 512 seconds on a BD-DL and 1280 seconds on a BD-XE

And we have no audio yet! This is pure video in it’s compressed form.

If we expand these numbers to uncompressed RGB images at 24bit color depth @24fps:

1920x1080x3x24 = 149 MB/s
3840x2160x3x24 = 597 MB/s
7680x4320x3x24 = 2389 MB/s (!)

You can double the values for 50fps and multiply the values by 1.3 for 60fps!

So if you imagine this, the computer serving the image processor must be capable of transferring 2GB/s, possible with today’s graphics cards and processors. But stressing the hardware good, as I think! for 50fps and 60fps the air gets thin!

And with HDMI? Well, I guess it will take some time until HDMI will be capable to transfer such data rates over the cable. I guess, a new standard will be released anyways.

I also think of high-Resolution displays such as the iPhone 4’s retina display. When applying SHV resolution, the display would measure 56 by 40 cm which brings us to a diagonal diameter of 68cm or 27 inches. Quite impressive! A large display with hardly visible pixels! And even when the diameter is increased to 55 Inches, the pixels would be so tiny, that you wouldn’t see them at a suggested distance of 3.5 metres! Now THAT would be spectacular and photorealism will be nearer as you think. Okay let’s stop here. Dreamt enough about this!

Conclusion: Nice idea but as long as not even FullHD is broadcasted over TV yet, there’s no need for SHV in my opinion. And be honest: Who wants to count Justin Bieber’s pimples when watching him on public broadcast shows as the ridiculous resolution will uncover even the finest detail.

Summary: When you think, FullHD is the ultimate picture format, think again. And maybe in 20 years, our TV sets will not show ANY pixels anymore (or they’re so tiny that you need a good magnifying glass to spot them!).

January 11, 2012 Netspark - 1578 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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