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SD - HD - 4K - 8K?

Can we all financially catch up in Brazil

Broadcast Brazil Column by rené Schaap

My first column for Broadcast Brazil is about formats… no… i am putting it not right here. It is mainly about the speed of development in this last 10 years of audio visual formats and what this means for Brazililian Audio Visual companies.

When i started my work in Broadcast we have had some formats. U-maticC-format and Betacam SP. The company where i worked for at that time had to switch their recorder between edit-suites and OB-vans all the time. The Betacam recorders where pretty expensive and my boss just did not have financial possibilities enough to keep them in one place. But life was easy and clear in the analog SD (standard definition) time and as a company you had the chance to earn back these recorders by renting them as much as possible for the next 5-8 years… or even longer.

Broadcast Brazil - BetacamSP and Umatic

In 1993 we got DigibetaBetacam SX in 1996 , Mpeg IMX in 2001. Meanwhile HD (high definition) was set into the market. Last 6 years HD became the standard for most Broadcasters, also in Brazil where the XDCAM HD format is used by TV Globo. In some parts of the country they still shoot and edit in SD but this is changing rapidly in Brazil.

Broadcast Brazil - Digibeta - BetacamSX - IMX - XDCAM HD

Last 5 years the industry also pushes a 3D format to Broadcasters and consumers, but is seams that this is not something that will stay much longer… why? I think because of those glasses you need to put on….. but also because 1 new format just started to become mainframe…. 4K, and the first 8K demo's could already been seen at the last 3 versions of the IBC exhibition in Amsterdam.

Router Panel

In the last 10 years most broadcasters needed first to step from SD to HD, some of them just managed this last year. Even a big event like Formula 1 has it's first year of HD, besides the camera's on the cars which are still SD. The first 4K equipment enters the market rapidly, it means that broadcasters have to invest heavily again?… by knowing the 8k format can be available in some years from now. I think for most broadcasters this is too fast, the investments are too big. Not only the equipment but all what is connected to it has to change. This means some troubles ahead for a lot of companies because, who has a bag of money or a sponsor can invest in these latest formats. The ones who cannot will see their company shrinking or even disappearing.

Broadcast Brazil - 4K - 8K

With the Worldcup 2014 Brazil coming up a lot of Brazilian audiovisual companies have to step up to at least HD. With the tax the government puts on pro-equipment it is already difficult to invest in Brazil. In 2016 the olympic games will be held in Rio de Janeiro and of course this needs to be transmitted in 4K.. some major companies will push this for sure. I think that most Brazilian Audio Visuals do not have that bag of money again in 2016 and will loose a lot of opportunities to foreign companies (the sharks) . For the local market i think it is more honest to transmit the Olympics in HD, just to give the Brazilian Audio Visual world some support so they can be the event at this very important event for the whole country.


Check also some 8K equipment seen on the IBC this year.

René Schaap
More info you can find on his LinkedIn: follow him on Twitter René_Schaap

Betacam SP
Betacam SX
Mpeg IMX
IBC exhibition


Thoughts about 3D Technology

Thoughts about 3D Technology
I have been talking about the various merits and faults of 3D with my colleagues going back to a demonstration I saw in April of 2011 at the NAB convention in Las Vegas. I thought I would try and elucidate some of these thoughts and see if anyone had interest in replying.

NAB Las Vegas USA

I would like to start off with describing a simple experiment that illustrates the basic idea behind modern 3D video:
With both eyes open, point your finger at the place where the ceiling meets 2 walls. Now close your right eye. If your right eye is dominant, your finger will not appear to move, or will only move a small bit. Open both eyes and point again. Now close your left eye. Your finger will have appeared to move quite a bit.  Now you will know if you are left eye dominant or right eye dominant.  Note that this does not necessarily correlate to your dominant hand.
What is important for this discussion is the difference in focus between your two eyes.

 <br />What is important for this discussion is the difference in focus between your two eyes.

This is the mechanism that enables one’s depth perception. This is what a modern 3D camera seeks to emulate. These cameras use two lenses which allow a three-dimensional signal to be recorded by determining the differences between the two images which is analogous to how your brain decodes your own three-dimensional vision.  But these images are displayed on two-dimensional screens.  In order to give depth to the image, glasses are used.


What is interesting for me is that while watching a live broadcast of a sporting event, I found the image presented to be very disconcerting.  I felt a little nauseous in fact!  A possible explanation for my discomfiture is that when I am moving through space, my brain is being fed information from all of my senses, not just my eyes. So my orientation is affected by my inner ear, for balance, by my hearing and also by the interrelation with my movements, gravity and so forth. When viewing a live 3D broadcast, I am affected only by the visual content, which is akin to looking through someone else’s eyes without being connected to the rest of their sensory input. This is particularly apparent when the images from handheld cameras are on screen. A realistic surround sound image would be helpful, but of course the soundfield is different from every visual perspective, and a live surround mix cannot possibly take all of the various perspectives in account. What is generally done, is that one perspective is chosen, and the surround matrix is built in coherence with it.

It is possible that stabilizing the cameras with gyroscopically controlled panheads will alleviate some of the discomfiture issues

It is possible that stabilizing the cameras with gyroscopically controlled panheads will alleviate some of the discomfiture issues, but that still leaves the rest of the sensory inputs to be concerned with. To my knowledge, there have been no definitive studies published on the effect of surround audio in combination with 3D imagery in terms of image stability. There have certainly been papers presented regarding localization of sound in a surround matrix, especially in respect to video game production. Studies indicate that audio information presented in 3D improves reaction time, as noted in certain high stress environments such as airplane cockpits.[1]  Will accurate 3D audio reproduction have a positive effect on viewer reaction to 3D disorientation?  It has yet to be seen.
3D technology is still relatively new, and is being studied and improved upon constantly.  Perhaps the answer may be to place the viewer in the center of a holographic matrix where one could possibly have a better connection between motor control and perception. 
Include Footnote Link (PDF) - Psyko Audio Labs , Surround Technologies for headphones.
I more or less cited this article when talking about the correlation between 3D audio and reaction time.  I have noticed that when mixing for TV - by having the various "instructions" (director/producer, etc) come from different speakers in different locations, I can react faster and understand better.
Daniel Littwin , director New York Digital.
São Paulo, Brazil

NAB convention in Las Vegas