Light Reading
Tech suppliers prep for Ultra HD future with flashy 4K video demos and displays at annual NAB convention in Sin City.

Video Vendors Bet Big on 4K in Vegas

Alan Breznick
4/9/2014
50%
50%

LAS VEGAS -- NAB Show 2014 -- In case there were any doubt, 4K Ultra HD video will soon be coming to a TV set, tablet, smartphone, camera, and/or other video-enabled device near you.

That much is evident from a quick glance around the vast exhibit floor at the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention here this week. Video technology vendors of all stripes are showing off beautifully crisp 4K pictures on one big screen after another while hawking the equipment and software tools needed to deliver the Ultra HD signals to home viewers without breaking the bank or clogging the distribution pipe.

In one prime example, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) are joining forces on the convention floor to demonstrate the live delivery of full-frame-rate 4K video for the first time. The demo, which is taking place at both the Cisco and Sony booths, is showing what live events look like when streamed at the 60-frame rate, which is considered optimal for the new video format.

Befitting this notable event, Cisco and Sony are going to great lengths for the 4K demo. Captured on Sony's F55 4K video cameras, the event is being encoded in the new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) format by Cisco's Videoscape AnyRes platform. The stream then gets transported from New York, where the event is taking place, to Las Vegas via a fiber optic network. At the Las Vegas Convention Center, the live stream is decoded by a Cisco 4K-enabled set-top box and displayed on Sony's XBR 4K Ultra HD TVs. (Got all that?)

In another prime example of 4K's rise to prominence here, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is showing off its own vision of the 4K-enhanced video future. In a private meeting room at its booth, Ericsson is using a huge, 84-inch TV screen to demonstrate all the interactive features, navigational enhancements, and social media goodies that it plans to bring to home viewers over the next couple of years, along with the ultra-crispy Ultra HD pictures.

Tech executives said they're doing the demos and showing the displays this spring because 4K's development is coming along fast and furious. With 4K TVs already coming on the market and dropping in price, such online video powers as Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) starting to stream programming in the Ultra HD format, such major pay-TV providers as DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) gearing up to distribute 4K content to their subscribers, and HEVC encoding chipsets in development, they said all the necessary elements are now coming together.

In fact, Joe Cozzolino, SVP and GM of service provider video infrastructure for Cisco, confidently predicted that 4K video will be a force in the US consumer electronics market by the fall. "It's really going to hit its peak as we hit the next holiday season," he said in a phone interview late last week. "It's starting to feel like it's just going to happen."

Cozzolino, who was quite skeptical about the similar industry hype over 3D-TV just a few years ago, argued that 4K is very different from 3D because Ultra HD is a more natural upgrade from standard HD, actually produces a sharper picture, and doesn't require viewers to wear those goofy, annoying 3D glasses, among other things. "I think we'll see a lot of chatter around 4K at NCTA [the Cable Show]," he said. "It's just the next evolution."

When standard HDTV first emerged in the video market more than a decade ago, satellite TV provides got a big jump on cable operators in rolling it out to their subscribers, leaving MSOs scrambling to catch up for years. But Cozzolino doesn't believe that will happen this time around with Ultra HD, despite vows by DirecTV to be first US pay-TV provider with 4K.

"We're already working with a number of cable operators around 4K," he said, without naming names. "I don't think there's going to be this big gap." If the HEVC chipsets arrive on time, he expects to see cable operators start to deploy set-top boxes and IP client devices capable of 30-frame 4k resolution in the second half of 2015, followed by full-fledged home video gateways capable of full 60-frame resolution shortly after that.

Related posts:

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
FakeMitchWagner
50%
50%
FakeMitchWagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/9/2014 | 7:22:55 PM
After 3D
After the fiasco of 3D, I'm skeptical of further TV upgrades. The world seems to be moving on to watching video on mobile devices, rather than big boxes in the living room. 
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Level 3 Does Big Data Differently
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/21/2014
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
Sprint Drops Prices, But Also Speeds?
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/21/2014
T-Mobile: Small Cells? We're Dense Already
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/22/2014
Line-Powered Phone Lines: A Hot Topic Again
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed