UHDTV Standards Comprising 4K & 8K TV Announced By ITU

Technical specifications for the next two generations of super high resolution TV broadcast have been drafted by international telecommunication standards organisation ITU, heralding the inevitable arrival of UHDTV (Ultra High Definition Television). The new standard – dubbed Recommendation by ITU – was developed by Study Group 6 of the body’s radiocommunications division (ITU-R), with input from television industry experts as well as broadcasters.

UHDTV standards comprising 4K & 8K TV announced by ITU

The proposed UHDTV recommendation, which is in the process of being submitted for approval, lays down the framework for not only 4K, but also 8K resolution. The advancement between each of these step-ups is said to be equivalent to the upgrade from standard definition to HDTV: 4K’s 3840 x 2160 images will have twice the horizontal resolution of 1920 x 1080 high-def images; while 8K will double the figure to 7680 x 4320. Megapixel-wise, 1080p full HD is 2Mp; 4K quadruples that to 8Mp; and 8K increases the display resolution fourfold to 32Mp.

ITU’s announcement of its new UHDTV standard also mentioned “improved colour fidelity”, suggesting the embracement of a wider colour gamut than that stipulated within the current Rec. 709 system. As well as this, the new formats allow for constant luminance encoding, and frame rates of up to 120 per second.

David Wood, chairman of the ITU-R Working Party 6C which drafted the new Recommendation, said that although it will be some time before UHDTV becomes mainstream, the finalisation of its technical details marks a historic moment when the foundation is laid down for a new era in television which will bring unsurpassed immersiveness to viewers. Obviously proud of the achievement, ITU-R Study Group 6’s chairman Christoph Dosch added that the Recommendation will provide clear guidelines for producers and broadcasters worldwide to safely begin work on UHDTV content.