NAB 2022 showcases a host of new technologies that have the potential to transform the industry over the next decade, including demonstrations of new equipment and technologies for stunning 8K video, which delivers 16 times the resolution of HD and four times 4K resolution.
“If you’ve ever watched immersive 8K content, especially paired with phenomenal sound, this is an unparalleled experience,” said Hugo Gaggioni, CTO, Sony Electronics, Imaging Products and Solutions Americas – Professional, which supplies the Venice camera. 2 and other equipment used in 8K productions.
However, most people are unlikely to experience this anytime soon. Just 1 million 8K TVs were sold globally in 2021, according to Strategy Analytics, which predicts around 72 million homes worldwide will have an 8K TV in 2025, a tiny fraction of the 1.7 billion homes equipped with 8K TVs. televisions in the world.
“We’re still in the early days of 8K,” said Bob Caniglia, director of business operations for the Americas at Blackmagic Design, who is showcasing the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K and other 8K-enabled technologies at the show.
But Sony’s Caniglia, Gaggioni and others showcasing 8K-capable gear are quick to add that there are already many attractive use cases for 8K in virtual productions, post-production, VR , replays, events and other areas where content may end up being streamed in 4K or even HD.
Multi-camera film productions requiring very high resolution for CG and virtual productions, for example, are two promising illustrations of how 8K technologies can be used today, explained Charlie Dunn, senior vice president of Telestream.
LIMITED EARLY ADOPTION
Currently, 8K content offerings are extremely limited, with some streaming services like YouTube TV and Roku and some broadcasters, primarily in Japan and China, offering 8K video regularly.
“Our 8K cameras are used for major sporting events, music programs and are broadcast live on Japan’s NHK BS8K channel. [an 8K satellite channel]said Hiroshi Akiyama, marketing manager at Ikegami Tsushinki Co., which is introducing its fourth generation of 8K cameras.
In addition to NHK producing around 200 hours of 8K video during the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Chinese broadcasters have also embraced the format. “A leading Chinese broadcaster officially launched an 8K channel early last year and brought 8K production online for major events like the…Winter Olympics,” added Xuan Zhang, Chief of product, Matrox Video, which supplied cards and a CDV graphics system for 8K UHD. chart.
Notable efforts have also been made to facilitate the creation and distribution of 8K content.
“A Leader LV5900 HD/4K/8K multi-standard waveform monitor was chosen to monitor the signal feed of an hour-long live 8K broadcast by BT from Northampton in England to Amsterdam,” Moriharu said. Ide, president of Leader Instruments Corp.
“During the Olympics, we saw HEVC 8K [content delivered and] encoded at 85 Mpbs,” said Thierry Fautier, Vice President of Video Strategy at Harmonic, which is an active member of the 8K Association and has provided material for 8K productions. “With more modern software encodings, we can go below 40 Mbps, as demonstrated during the 2019 Roland-Garros tennis tournament” which used Harmonic technologies.
THE FUTURE IS NOW
More importantly, 8K technologies are playing an increasing role in efforts to improve the way HD, HDR and 4K content is produced today.
“We’re already seeing a lot of 8K and even 12K in virtual production,” said Caniglia of Blackmagic Design. “The extra resolution you get from LED walls gives you more detail and allows you to shoot at higher resolution.”
Another promising app is live sports. “For live sport, 8K or better cameras can be used to provide a panoramic view of a stadium, which can be cropped in software to the lower resolutions used in broadcast today,” said David Mitchinson, head of strategic initiatives at Appear. This provides a panoramic view that can be cropped to follow an individual player and is ideal for remote productions as it requires no camera movement.
Producers are also increasingly using 8K to shoot action scenes, as the higher resolution allows them to crop shots in post-production.
“Users choose [Sony’s] Venice 2 8K camera due to image quality and [they] can shoot in 8K because of post-production flexibility,” added Gaggioni at Sony. “We have seen many productions up to 4K or 5.7K and always use Sony’s 2-inch VENICE camera.
According to vendors, 8K mastering protects the long-term value of content that could be distributed in HD or 4K today. “Content producers will inevitably switch from HD and 4K-UHD to 8K to maximize the lifespan of their programs,” said Ide at Leader Instruments.
Copyright NAB Show Daily