A new set of proof-of-concept tests reveals that it’s perfectly possible to beam 4K TV through the air, without the need for streaming video services. Imagine: 4K through your TV aerial. But, perhaps predictably, it’s going to be a little while before you can have it.
Research by LG, GatesAir and Zenith shows that, using HVEC video compression, it’s possible to wrap up a 4K broadcast along with two smaller mobile broadcasts and package them together in a 6MHz block of spectrum. While you’d need a big slice of bandwidth to transmit all channels through the air in such a way, it’s certainly enough to prove that broadcasters could in theory provide a small number of channels in glorious 4K.
But of course there’s a catch. This is, as we say, very much a proof-of-concept. The research project pieces together several technologies to achieve the feat, which will have to be rolled together and agreed upon as a broadcast standard before it’s used in anger. That may sound straightforward, but it isn’t. And even then, it will require broadcasters to start using it and TV manufacturers to produce sets that work with it. Still, at least we know it’s possible, right?
Picture: Giandomenico Ricci