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Sky more likely to embrace 4K broadcasts than BBC

Satellite broadcaster Sky is more likely to adopt 4K before the BBC, according to a BBC executive.

Speaking at the Digital TV World Summit in London, controller of production for BBC North Mark Harrison said that both Sky and BBC were working on the next generation broadcasting technology but deployment by the BBC was some way off.

“I’m sure that Sky will get there first in some – I don’t mean this in a pejorative way, but – attention grabbing 4K moment. That’s kind of their business model and good luck to them,” said Harrison.

“The BBC, to some degree, is constrained by our universality. We have to keep thinking about serving everybody rather than serving a niche or specialist audience that might have access to that kind of product. It doesn’t necessarily upset us to see them go first.”

Television trade publication Digital TV Europe reported that Harrsion said research and development staff at the BBC were pursuing other technologies, such as increased frame rate and said that viewers would more likely notice better picture quality watching HD at a higher frame rate than by watching 4K.

He said the obsession for staff working on the new technology were around frame rates, dynamic range, colour and codecs.

“It’s around trying to make sure that the pictures that we give to all our license fee payers, whatever they are watching just look better,” said Harrison.

In September Sky successfully carried out a test transmission of a football match between West Ham and Stoke.


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