‘ETSI AS TS 101 154 V2.3.1’ is not something consumers are going to hear very often but this new ETSI standard provides the interoperability needed for broadcasters and CE manufacturers to provide UHD-1 Phase 2 products and services. Consumers may not hear the term ‘UHD-1 Phase 2’ very often, either, but they will care about High Dynamic Range (HDR), which significantly increases the contrast ratio and delivers a ‘sparkle’ to pictures, and next-generation audio and higher frame rates – all contained in the standard. For the broadcast industry the standard provides the chance to differentiate services from ‘simple’ 4k resolution, which on its own is going to start looking like an inferior experience. We could now start hearing more marketing terms like ‘Premium UHD’.
ETSI has just published the AS TS 101 154 V2.3.1 standard, based on the DVB’s ‘Specification for the use of Video and Audio Coding in Broadcasting Applications based on the MPEG-2 Transport Stream’. The first DVB UHD-1 Phase 2 services that include the new features, like HDR, should be available later this year.
The DVB solutions for HDR include both Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) and Perceptual Quantizer (PQ) transfer functions. The new standard also defines Higher Frame Rates (HFR), offering sharper images of moving objects by going beyond the current 50/60 frames per second. DVB has added the latest Next Generation Audio (NGA) schemes to provide immersive and personalized audio content using object- or scene-based audio coding.
DVB notes: “DVB’s completion of the specification required great dedication, with over 30 companies and other interested parties participating in the Technical Module group on Audio-Visual Coding (TM-AVC). It is estimated that some 50 online meetings and ten days of physical meetings took place in TM-AVC during the year that it was working on the specification.
“Commercial guidance on Next Generation Audio was provided by the Commercial Module group on Audio-Visual Coding (CM-AVC), whilst commercial guidance on UHD-1 Phase 2 video was provided by the Commercial Module group on UHDTV (CM-UHDTV).”
The specifications body added: “Congratulations to all those who contributed to the huge team effort required to get this important document agreed on time, to DVB TM-AVC Chair Ken McCann and to Virginie Drugeon for her excellent editorial leadership.”