January 5, 2016
The Advanced Television System Committee’s ATSC 3.0 standards for 4K are expected to be finalized this year, and CES attendees in Las Vegas can get an early look at 4K Ultra HD over broadcast television. LG and Samsung are sponsoring two local TV stations (independent KHMP and NBC-affiliated KSNV, respectively) playing 4K content on display at this week’s conference. This marks the first major public demonstration of the ATSC 3.0 transmission system, designed for improved broadcast signals of 4K Ultra HD TV, mobile TV and interactive content.
“We’re on target to finalize the entire suite of ATSC 3.0 standards for next-gen television broadcasting this year,” said ATSC president Mark Richer.
Ultra HD with high dynamic range promises a new viewing experience with improved contrast and color saturation, especially for the new larger 4K models. IHS Technology projects 4K TV shipments to double in the U.S. to 12 million in 2016.
USA Today reports: “Also adding momentum to 4K UHD will be updates about HDR standards, additional movie studio support for 4K Blu-ray Discs and an expected announcement of at least one satellite TV provider delivering 24-hour 4K content, says Richard Doherty, research director at The Envisioneering Group.”
Meanwhile, the push for 4K content continues. Currently, most Ultra HD content involves movies, although AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and Netflix’s “House of Cards” are among the TV series available in 4K.
Networks have been hesitant to invest in the new format, but Vizio CTO Matt McRae predicts “that will change in the middle of 2016.”
“For now, you can see movies in 4K on streaming services Netflix, Amazon Prime and Vudu,” notes USA Today, “and this year 4K Blu-ray Discs and players are finally expected in stores.”
The Dish Network is expected to ship its 4K satellite receiver this year, while DirecTV will likely soon ramp up promotion of its 4K service.