Sinclair Broadcast Group and Technicolor have integrated Technicolor’s proposed ATSC 3.0 4K UltraHD testbed platform into the broadcast group’s experimental OFDM transmission system in Baltimore.
Technicolor’s platform relies on Scalable HEVC (SHVC), MPEG-H audio and MPEG-MMT transport, each of which is an open standard. Sinclair’s Acrodyne Services performed the actual integreation,
The system will allow broadcasters to transmit over the air live 4K UltraHD content at the same time to viewers in the home and on the go.
An important element of the platform is Scalable High Efficiency Video Coding, SHEVC, which breaks video bit streams into subsets that add quality and resolution layers to video signals, according to a document detailing the scalable compression algorithm from Mark Aitken, VP of Advanced Technology for Sinclair.
The platform makes it possible to adapt to sub-par network connections by dropping subsets or packets to reduce frame rate, resolution or bandwidth used by a picture to prevent picture breakup. This approach makes it possible for mobile devices to receive a base layer of bits while a high-res TV receives the same base layer and another layer of bits that enhance the image.
With multiple layers of services, it is possible to maximize the efficiency of allocating bits for video and audio services. Layers also eliminate the so-called cliff effect of today’s DTV service where there is either enough data transmitted to create video or not enough to create an image at all, making graceful degradation of the signal possible, according to the document.
The Sinclair and Technicolor deployment of SHEVC is the first in the world, the companies said.
“Sinclair continues to work to bring future value to all broadcast stakeholders, a future where HDTV and new services can be reliably delivered to tablets and portable devices, and 4K UltraHD to our home audience,” said Aitken.
Click for more information on the testbed’s integration with Sinclair’s OFDM transmission system.