BBC tests 4K content on iPlayer

By Nathaniel Dalby - Thu 8th Dec 2016 News

The BBC has started testing 4K HDR content on its iPlayer service, with select shows being chosen for the trial.

 

The BBC’s new Planet Earth II series, narrated by David Attenborough, will have four minutes of test footage used for the test, with others being planned for the future.

iPlayer users with 4K televisions will be able to partake in the test, though this is a significant minority compared to the amount of people with standard 1080p sets.

4K is the latest generation of HD, able to render TV shows with brighter colours and clearer pictures than standard HD. 

It is thought that four times as many pixels are used when displaying in 4K, making it a significant upgrade.

This is the BBC’s first foray into 4K, with other streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon already offering select content in 4K.

Phil Layton, head of broadcast and connected systems at BBC Research and Development, said that 4K could change the way that shows like Planet Earth II are seen. 

“One of the clips is a frog on a leaf with lots of rain, and the reason this is so interesting is that the redness of the frog is a really deep Ferrari red that you would never get in broadcast television at the moment.

“We want to show that this is how the BBC could make ultra-high definition HDR material available to iPlayer. And we want to use this as a trigger to work with manufacturers to get their products updated so there's a pathway there for future on-demand BBC content."

4K streaming has another struggle with the fact that it takes strong internet download speeds to run properly, which the BBC says it is taking into account.

Source: BBC News