Future of next-gen 4K TV broadcasts detailed in giant explainer

The Ultra HD Forum, a group made up of key stakeholders in the movie and TV industries from content creators to tech companies, has launched a new set of guidelines to give those in the industry (or those fascinated by the future of TV) a taster of what’s to come from the next generation of 4K technologies. 

The Phase B Guidelines are a follow-up to the Phase A Guidelines, which were released by the organisation back in 2016. These most recent guidelines have been created “to introduce and demystify the technologies and provide information to operators that are considering incorporating one or more of these advanced features into their UHD services.”

In other words, it’s the start of a playbook for bringing next-gen visuals into your living room.

What’s to come

The technologies include Dynamic HDR metadata systems, Dual Layer HDR technology and next generation audio including Dolby® AC-4, as well as many more. The different stages that are explored in the document include the full ecosystem, from production to distribution, whether that’s terrestrial broadcast or internet streaming services.

High Frame Rate pictures (hitting 100 or 120 frames per second) are also listed, while Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos object based audio is also being lined up.

While it always takes a little while for new broadcast technologies to roll out (there's still local stations beaming out SD signals), it's exciting to look at all these high-spec possibilities heading our way in the future.

Becca Caddy

Becca is a contributor to TechRadar, a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than ten years, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality.