Sky preparing for explosion of Ultra HD televisions

28th Feb 2013 | 16:07

Sky preparing for explosion of Ultra HD televisions

'Watching brief' includes filming key shows at higher resolution

Sky is already preparing for the rise in Ultra HD TV, with the head of the ambitious Sky 3D channel confirming that it is already filming key titles in ultra-high definition.

Speaking at the airing of the F1 trials in 3D – a one off experiment that is aiming to showcase the technology – John Cassy told TechRadar that the broadcaster was already looking for the next TV frontier.

"From our point of view Sky always has been, and we hope always will be, at the front of TV innovation in the UK," Cassy said.

"If you look at what drives TV development it's better picture and better sound, so we went from silent and black and white, to sound and black and white, to colour, to digital to HD and now 3D and so there will be future technologies. We have a watching brief on ultra hd and 4K."

Cassey explained that some key shows from Sky, specifically the nature high profile nature documentaries like Galapagos 3D and The Penguin King, voiced by the iconic Sir David Attenborough, are already taking advantage of higher resolution.

"Actually what we have been doing, the Attenborough shows have all be filmed in 4K and in some cases 5K so they have ben captured and future-proofed in a sense, as far as we can. But we're playing around with it."

So, don't expect a Sky Ultra HD channel just yet, but don't rule out the broadcaster being at the front of the queue when demand increases.

3D wins

UHD has another benefit beyond just sharpness of picture. Passive and glasses-free 3D essentially halves the resolution of the screen, so better quality pictures brings huge improvements to the viewer experience.

"There are very clear benefits that 4K gives 3D," added Cassy. "The resolution is better and also it could help in glasses-free 3D because it enables that technology."

Sky 3D's F1 coverage is very much a one-off at the current time, aiming to show off the technology to a wider audience, but it represents the continued ambition of Sky in the area.

The current estimate is around 400,000 UK homes signed up for Sky 3D, and, as you would expect, it is the major events likes sporting events and movies that are big draws.

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