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4K Ultra HD interoperability test kicked off by DTG

The Digital TV Group has begun testing out 4K Ultra HD kit as it continues to help define future broadcast standards. 

Described as a world first by the industry group, the test or ‘product testing zoo’ as it’s being called, is designed to see what 4K kit works the best together. 

The initial DTG test saw 4K TVs from 10 different manufacturers hooked up to set-top boxes, an upscaling Blu-Ray player, an AV receiver and 4K testing equipment from two providers to see what kit works best together.  

Don't sit too close, you'll get square eyes: A snapshot from the DTG's 4K gang bang
4K Ultra HD interoperability test kicked off by DTG

Simon Gauntlett, chief technology officer at the DTG, said: “I would like to thank all the participants and observers that made it a successful and busy day. 

“This event marks the beginning in a new era of testing facilities at the Digital TV Group and we look forward to further collaboration with industry to create a thriving 4K Ultra HD ecosystem in the UK.” 

It’s not known which devices and products were used in the strictly invite-only test event, but the DTG said that all of the 12 4K displays tested are models that are currently on sale. HDMI test tools supplied by Rohde & Schwarz and Quantum Data.

The DTG convened the UK UHD Forum last year, bringing broadcasters including the BBC and Sky together to develop and agree on a standard for 4K Ultra HD

So far both broadcasters have filmed a number of live sporting events including Premier League football matches the 2014 Commonwealth Games and most recently, the Ryder Cup golf tournament. The BBC also shot a short fight scene in a factory – to see how action scenes shot in 4K would turn out – using an advanced camera that captured Ultra HD video at 600fps (frames per second)

The DTG’s findings from the testing zoo are now being collated to see whether any specifications or guidelines can be created. 

Future tests will focus on support for HEVC and 4K image quality. Early 4K TV sets that were rushed to market turned out to be incompatible with 4K services from Netflix and HEVC-encoded video files. 
4K test footage has revealed problems with footage shot at certain frame rates not capturing live action like footage as well as higher rates. 

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