Honeycomb’s first ever HiveLive event — 4KOK — addressed the promise and pitfalls of UHD technology. With people spilling out of the doors of our cosy Clerkenwell venue (thanks J+A Cafe!), it’s clear that we’re not the only ones excited about the future of advertising technology.
Our master of broadcast wizardry, Craig Russill-Roy, was joined by the DPP’s Andy Wilson, ITV’s Bill Brown and Telestream’s George Boath. This crack team of UHD experts addressed a mixed crowd of broadcasters and agency peeps to demystify UHD and give practical advice on how everyone in the ad production pipeline can (and should) get 4K ready.
UHD… uh… what?
Craig kicked things off with brief history of UHD — if you’re not exactly sure what UHD is, or why you should care about it, is definitely worth a watch. Starting deep in the mists of time (1997) Craig explained how industry technology has changed to make UHD viable for content producers across the board. Although the jump to UHD may seem dramatic, he explains how new tech is putting the the format within reach.
“Q: Is UHD a big hairy beast you don’t want to touch? A: No.”
Honeycomb was built to embrace new technology, and to make it affordable for everyone, so, as Craig explained, we’re all set up to deal with UHD formats. When you’re ready to shoot or show UHD ads, Honeycomb will be ready to deliver them.
The DPP is here for you
After a brief intro to the DPP, Andy gave an overview of the UHD production pipeline, and went through some of the practical steps to creating UHD content. He explained WGR (Wide Gamma Range) HDR (High Dynamic Range) and unpicked a whole load of other snappy abbreviations. Luckily, the DPP is working on standard global guidelines, so although UHD may seem a bit daunting now, it should be straightforward to implement across all broadcasters.
The first UHD channels are coming
Bill Brown spoke from a broadcaster’s perspective. While Sky is ahead of the game when it comes to being ready for the new format, most commercial broadcasters aren’t yet ready for UHD — it’s likely that the first UHD channels will be in satellite and IPTV. But they’re watching the industry response to the new tech with interest, and know that they need to be proactive — rather than find themselves playing catch up.
George Boath spoke about future proofing for UHD, and demonstrated that there is QC software available that’s up to the task. He gave an overview of some of the software available to make UHD dreams a reality.
TL;DR: 4K is coming. It’s within your reach. You’re going to love it.
If you were in the audience, thanks for coming. If you weren’t, you can watch the whole event above (it’s not in UHD; the irony isn’t lost on us). You can download The DPP’s 10 Things You Need to Know About UHD here. If you’re interested in joining the DPP, find out more here (it’s free for production companies and they have lots of free resources, including DPP Programme Spec V5, which includes the UHD delivery spec, The DPP's Workflow Guide, and many many more).