Super Hi Vision at the BBC

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Tony Neal
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The BBC and NHK Japan are trialing Ultra High Definition TV at the London Olympics and are running demos at three sites in the UK.

Super Hi Vision is an 8K UHDTV system, which delivers 16 times the resolution of HDTV at 120Hz.

The BBC and NHK are trialing the system at the Olympics and transmitting live video to 3 sites in the UK.
 
I saw a demo at BBC Broadcasting House last Wednesday and the images were simply sensational. Think of IMAX film without the jitter, flicker or grain, with 22.1 surround sound, in real time.
 

Go and see a demo screening if you can - you won't be disappointed.

 
infocus2
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Tony Neal
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Cool ... Torin Douglas quoted from a comment of mine that I left on the Super Hi Vision Blog - the bit about 
"If it wasn't for the visionaries in broadcasting and video technology we would still be watching 405 line black and white television,"
 
Fame at last !
MAGLINK
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
I think you will find that it is other services that are doing the tests and not the BBC, the BBC like every other broadcaster take feeds and are nothing to do with the main coverage.
 
They are the Olympic broadcaster for the UK but are not in charge of any broadcasting services! 
Alan Roberts
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Not quite true Gary,
 
NHK is the main protagonist for Super HiVision, 8k. But BBC R&D have been collaborating with them for at least 8 years, it might actually be longer because I wasn't that interested in it at the time, I had too many other things to keep me busy.
 
The S-HiV coverage at the Games is from 3 cameras, running 7680x4320 at 60Hz. The cameras feed via OBS to TVCentre Studio 0 (the old Music Studio, now BBC R&D's studio space) where it's being recorded, edited, monitored and routed out. It's going out by fibre via Janet and other high-bandwidth networks to BH, Bradford, Glasgow, then on to Washington and Tokyo, where it then goes on to Fukushima. It's being recorded at all locations onto 16 P2 cards, with a single P2 HD down-convert recording as a proxy for editing.
 
I was at one of the screenings in BH just before the Games opened. We at in the 2nd row to get within the nominated 0.75H viewing distance. The pictures looked soft most of the time, with a little chromatic aberration in the corners. Anything moving instantly went soft because 60Hz isn't anywhere near enough (they're going to 120Hz next year, but BBC and the EBU is pushing for 300Hz). What was instantly evident (and we'd been predicting it for over 25 years) is that big screens need fast refresh rates to avoid motion blur, and that camera movements are highly disturbing because the frame of reference shifts.
 
The 22.2 sound can be impressive, but needs unbelievably careful control to make it work. The demos weren't particularly impressive because of the source material. I expect it to be a great deal better on the stuff they've shot since that demo, because they'll have room acoustics and audience sounds from the Aquatic Centre.
 
Clearly, this is aimed at Imax rather than consumer homes.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
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MAGLINK
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Ok thanks Alan I stand corrected, I knew we were doing some super HD but not in my venue and I was told it was only NHK that were providing the resources to OBS. 
infocus2
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Alan Roberts wrote:
I was at one of the screenings in BH just before the Games opened. We at in the 2nd row to get within the nominated 0.75H viewing distance. The pictures looked soft most of the time, with a little chromatic aberration in the corners. Anything moving instantly went soft because 60Hz isn't anywhere near enough (they're going to 120Hz next year, but BBC and the EBU is pushing for 300Hz). What was instantly evident (and we'd been predicting it for over 25 years) is that big screens need fast refresh rates to avoid motion blur, and that camera movements are highly disturbing because the frame of reference shifts.
I went to the screening yesterday and fully agree with all that. Overall impression was very good, but I think the lenses are now the weakest link in the resolution chain. "Soft" should be thought of as a relative term though ....... :-)
 
I also agree that the more static the shots were, the more impressive it was - so I'll be interested to see any change with 120/300fps. 
Quote:
The 22.2 sound can be impressive, but needs unbelievably careful control to make it work. The demos weren't particularly impressive because of the source material. I expect it to be a great deal better on the stuff they've shot since that demo, because they'll have room acoustics and audience sounds from the Aquatic Centre.
On the screning I saw, they had material from the Olympics opening, the Women's 400m finals at the Aquatic centre, and the basketball. All very impressive, but the techniques are totally different, it lends itself to long wide shots with little movement - but you can still see the detail. That's good and bad at the same time - good because it's well., just very impressive - bad because it's all too easy to miss something important because you'e looking at something else! I think we've got very used to the director selecting the focus of interest for us.
Quote:
Clearly, this is aimed at Imax rather than consumer homes.
That was my feeling as well. (Together with industrial/medical/military etc applications.) But it wasn't what they said in the presentation, and the presentation logo was quite clear - "The future of television". The message was it was being developed for general broadcast use.
 
The big elephant in the theatre was probably 3D, or rather the lack of it. Having seen IMAX 3D, then for a system designed for large theatre spectacle I wonder how viable a 2D only system will be.....? Especially if they can develop current 3D to be higher than 24fps framerate and glasses free.....?
Alan Roberts
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
The really big elephant in the room for Super Hi-Vision is the data rate. At 60Hz frame rate it's being heavily compressed for distribution down to 360Mb/s. Unless all consumer homes are fibre connected with very expensive mono-mode fibre, there's no chance this can make sense as a consumer TV system.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Saw the OBS demo at the IBC on my last day on Wednesday and it was quite impressive but I still didn't like wearing the glasses, the 22.2 surround seemed a bit of a waste as all I could hear was mostly one of the rear loudspeakers as I was sat near the back to one side.
Alan Roberts
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Glasses? the Super-HiVision demo doesn't need glasses. You must have been watching the 3D demo.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Just checked the photo's I took of the entrance at the IBC and it says " 3D/Super high vision theatre" there was also a poster outside saying it was super high vision!
 
So are you saying it is either just 3D or is it 3D super high vision? being a sound engineer and humble com box manager I don't know a lot about this new picture department stuff! wink
 
The 3D material did look stunning though and good from the cameras I saw everywhere and far better than any 3D I have ever seen so far!
 
If all I saw was the HD 3D this time I will go back during the paras to check out the super high vis stuff!
 
Alan Roberts
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
As far as I'm aware, you see either Super HiVision (8k) or 3D HDTV (1920x1080), separate demos. The 3D's wasted on me, I get a headache after a short while, and the resolution of each channel is only 960x1080 for transmission so it isn't even HDTV. It was the 8k demo I was talking about.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

sleepytom
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
3d is a waste of everyones time, it's also responsible for 50% of the 2d broadcast sports being out of focus. The focusing during the olympics has been some of the worst efforts i've ever seen in broadcast TV. There has been endless examples of soft focus and accidental onscreen focus pulls (where the cameraman has corrected his focus live on screen). I suspect that 3d is the culprit here, the extra information and controls for shooting in 3d get in the way of doing the 2d production properly and so the primary product really suffers. 
 
Nobody wants 3d TV. Why the manufacturers are insisting on pursuing it at the detriment to their main product is quite beyond me. 

You can contact me at http://tombassford.org
People interested in live production might like to check out http://atemuser.com 

Alan Roberts
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Just bear in mind that none of the 2D pictures you've seen have come from a 3D pairing. The Super HiVision and 3D coverage has all been separate from the mainstream HD coverage.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
It just shows how tired I was after 24 days non stop and I just saw the theatre on the way out from commentary switching at the IBC, I looked at the schedule but didn't take much notice of it.
I will try to see the 8K demo when I go back in two weeks.
 
All the 3D cameras I saw were the new panasonic version of the HPX371 and they were totally separate to the 2D ones from the OB's, no doubt telegenic will have their huge dual head rigs out somewhere and they are a real pain as they take up far too much space and prevent other people getting camera positions a lot of the time.
 
3D has never really caught on again and SKY's masterplan of getting pubs to buy into the football has totally failed so hopefully they will disappear again soon and we can get a tie line from the gantry again.
sleepytom
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Alan Roberts wrote:
Just bear in mind that none of the 2D pictures you've seen have come from a 3D pairing. The Super HiVision and 3D coverage has all been separate from the mainstream HD coverage.

Are you 100% sure of that? If so why has so much of the camerawork been so amazingly poor? 

 

You can contact me at http://tombassford.org
People interested in live production might like to check out http://atemuser.com 

StevenBagley
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC

Just back from seeing the Super Hi-Vision demo in Bradford -- very impressive, particularly the athletics (Ennis, Rutherford -- who was jumping in the background of Ennis's 800m run that's how detailed things are, Mo Farah, and Usain Bolt's 100m) and cycling (Chris hoy in the Kierin). The opening ceremony clips were very good too -- particularly the lighting of the flame shot, which was much better than in the regular HD coverage.

I agree that the motion blur was a bit of a pain at times. Moving to 120Hz or higher would help, at the expense of light gathering opportunities, and there was already a lot of sensor noise visible in some shots of the opening ceremony. Out of interest, are the cameras single sensor or 3 chip?

I think I might have to go and purchase 16 1080p projectors now... :-)

Steve

Alan Roberts
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Tom, I take it you read Gary's posting, #14.
 
Event production like this will NEVER use cameras for multiple simultaneous delivery, simply because each camera needs to be under the direction of the director for one and only one output stream. It is impossible to use a single camera position for two purposes, the operator would be getting conflicting directions from multiple directors.
 
When we first started doing HD at Wimbledon, 1990 something, we occupied the spare #1 camera position in the stand, and a spare position lower down, for the two cameras. The deal was that we could make HD provided the SD #1 camera worked properly. In the event of a fault on the SD #1, out HD #1 would be instantaneously taken over for the SD production, meaning that they would take the SD output from it (that was permanently connected anyway) and the SD cameraman would move to our HD #1 and carry on. That was a very good deal, because there was never a fault on SD #1 in the 4 years or so that we did it.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

sleepytom
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Yeah I got that, but I didn't know if the 3d cut was different to the 2d for every event. It doesn't seem out of the question that they would simply take the 2d out of the 3d stream downstream of the vision mixer on events where they couldn't stretch to totally separated productions. I'd presume that there is actually scope for some shared cameras even on the big track events, where they have the automatic tracking cameras, surely these are shared between 2d and 3d as there isn't space to have dual systems. (I've never seen the 3d broadcasts though so I don't know what they look like). 
 
 
I still don't get why the focus is wrong for so much of it. Just watched the marathon and the on bike camera which was shooting the lead group was continually focused on the crowd / barriers / background leaving the runners in soft focus. Sure its hard to focus when your on the back of a bike, but there must be solutions (i'm sure i've seen people get this right before!) a bit less ND and a stopped down lens would of probably helped. 

You can contact me at http://tombassford.org
People interested in live production might like to check out http://atemuser.com 

Alan Roberts
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Just to make it really clear, the HD, 3D and Super HiVision productions are completely separate. OBS runs the HD. BBC and NHK have been running the 3D and Super HiVision. They are separate productions, paid for separately by separate organisations. Interconnections simply don't make sense at any level.
 
The focus issue is a different matter. You might not have noticed, but there's a fashion for short depth of field, which makes it hard to focus. An insider has told me of one event he worked at, where his camera (remotely racked) was permanently overexposed, making it hard to frame and focus. He complained to the production crew and got the wonderful reply 'I don't know how to adjust that, I haven't been trained'. I get the impression that a considerable number of operating crew were not fully (or even partly) competent. And there's only one reason why that might be, money.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
I can't say much but I heard on the grapevine that a lot of the rejections during the training were of lecturers at certain media uni's, the students I had were all media bunnies and I trained them fully and they all performed very well apart from one who was also a lecturer at a major media uni.
 
The soldering muppet was dispatched to elsewhere as he didn't seem that interested and I didn't want him on my crew, he was from a mid european country and had a certain superior attitude. 
 
I can't comment about the French and Greek camera crews who also had a certain attitude and I never saw where the zillions of chinese students went to. 
 
We were puzzled why highly paid media uni lecturers were taking places meant for students but I suppose it was easy for them to put their own names down on the list, most were rejected as they were not operationally very good and it makes me realise why so many graduates struggle in the real world of media working.
rogs
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
Well this announcement : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19370582   looks to have the standard 'set in stone', so to speak.  
I seem to remember lots of arguments about standards, when HD was first being discussed, many years ago.
This new standard seems to have been 'approved' very quickly, with no objections from broadcasters ?......So everyone agrees... that makes a change!
Alan Roberts
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Re: Super Hi Vision at the BBC
It's not so much that everyone agrees, but that few care. It's irrelevant to virtually all the world's broadcasters.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.