Video Guru Joe Kane on Putting the Ultra in Ultra HDTV
One of Joe’s activities at CES was to give a seminar on the current state of Ultra HD. Turns out, Joe is not impressed with what he’s seeing. A main point of the presentation was that increased resolution is just one part of what any Ultra HD standard should include. Not only that, but it’s the least important consideration. To make Ultra HDTV truly Ultra, the format needs to have image bit-depths higher than the 8-bits used by the current HDTV standard (10- or 12-bits at minimum), and less aggressive chroma subsampling (HDTV uses 4:2:0; Joe recommends 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 for UHDTV). Then there’s the issue of wider color gamut, such as the Rec.2020 space included in the technical recommendations for Ultra HD put forth by the International Telecommunications Union (current UHDTVs and the limited amount of available UHDTV content employ the same Rec.709 color space used for HDTV).
The real kicker to this story? During the presentation, Joe said that the improvements he and others are pushing for exceed the capabilities of HDMI 2.0, the new, UHDTV-specific connector being incorporated into new sets. According to Joe, HDMI 2.0 as an interface is “stillborn.”