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Broadcasting In 4K: Who Can Do It And How To Do It

Broadcasting consumers are growing more sophisticated and more demanding, and what they’re looking for above all else is quality. We’re not talking about the quality of the program itself, but of how the program is delivered. Modern consumers want a high quality picture with superb clarity. High Definition television was conceived to deliver this, but that’s now being left behind by the 4K revolution. That’s why so many broadcasters are wondering whether it’s time for them broadcast in 4K, and how best to do it.

The Advantages Of 4K Broadcasting

Put simply, 4K takes HD television to a whole new level, and as broadcasting technology catches up with the recording technology, the differences will become more and more apparent. 4K, also known as Ultra HD, is so named because it delivers pictures that are four times more detailed than a standard High Definition picture. 4K pictures have dimensions of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, giving a picture containing around 8.3 million pixels. This brings clear advantages to the viewer:

– Improved picture clarity

– Superb picture quality

– Enhanced depth and contrast

4K broadcasting

As customer demand for this service grows, broadcasters who have embraced the technology at this early stage will have a competitive edge over their rivals.

Who Can Use 4K?

The equipment to shoot 4K quality footage is available now, meaning that all forward thinking broadcasters can use it. It does however come with costs in terms of both money and time. As well as a 4K camera and a 4K monitor, the broadcaster will need extra processing power and storage capabilities. A 4K camera can produce anything from 225 gigabytes of data an hour, up to 1 terabyte of data an hour. This not only requires a large amount of storage space, but also means that the footage can take a long time to process and back up on all but the fastest computers. That said, the cost of data storage is falling all the time, and as the technology becomes more widely produced, 4K cameras will become more cost-effective as well.

How To Shoot In 4K?

It’s important to determine whether your footage will benefit from the 4K treatment. It’s the perfect format for commercials, as these tend to be short, and the product can be picked out in stunning detail. 4K is also being used for drama, films, and natural history programs. At the moment, it’s not so suitable for footage that involves lots of fast cuts, or that will require multiple cameras. Once you’ve decided that 4K is right for you, you’ll find a wide choice of 4K cameras available, with the number growing all the time. Cameras such as the AJA Cion are at the more affordable end, up to top of the range cameras such as the Sony FS5. It’s important to test your new camera thoroughly, of course, before embarking upon a shoot.

Where To Broadcast In 4K?

As yet, there are no 4K TV broadcast channels available to the public, but 4K can be broadcast over Video On Demand sites such as Netflix. This provides an excellent opportunity for broadcasters to monetize their Ultra HD shoots. 4K film makers are choosing the format because it’s future proof. When, inevitably, true 4K television does arrive and become popular, they’ll already have the footage available to use. That’s why signing up to 4K today can bring a brighter tomorrow.

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