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April 25, 2024

NAB 2024 Show Report – Part 1

We have split our extensive 8K NAB 2024 show report into two halves. This time we are featuring the more substantial items. Part 2 is now online here.

Sony’s Burano Wins Prizes

Sony was showing the new Burano camera but was not highlighting the 8K feature very highly. In the professional monitor area it was showing new 55”, 65” and 77” client monitors that are based on QD-OLED technology but which are just UltraHD/4K as they are based on panels from Samsung Displays and these are only currently being made in that resolution. The monitors are only recommended for client review rather than mastering because of the relatively low peak brightness compared to LCD-based monitors. Sony’s latest dual panel LCD reference monitor supports peak output of 4,000 cd/m2 and staff told us that at least ten Hollywood movies are being mastered at that level of HDR as TVs are getting towards that level now. We also heard that the narrow FWHM of the QD output can lead to issues with metamerism. For more on the topic of narrow color and metamerism, see this article.

Sony’s Burano camera captures 8.6K content and won a number of awards.

We also got the chance to catch up with Deon LeCointe whose recent webinar we reported. He clarified that Sony was not intending to position its low latency HEVC technology as a real competitor to JPEG XS as it also has products that support that technology. However, there are applications, for example when you want to transmit via 5G, when there is simply not enough bandwidth for JPEG XS and then LL HEVC is a good solution. Once again he claimed that Sony sees XS as having a full frame of latency although this was later disputed by the Fraunhofer HHI, the co-developer of JPEG XS, when we spoke to them. They put the latency as just a matter of lines.

8K Association Highlights VVC Encoding with High Quality and Low Bitrates

The 8K Association, with support from Intel, Spin Digital and Samsung, was demonstrating 8K encoded in VVC on a Samsung 85” Neo QLED set which drew many admiring glances. The content was being played back on a PC that was not so powerful but looked very good. What was really surprising to visitors was that the encoding had been done based on perceptual image quality, using the Spin Digital encoder. The bit rate varied according to the complexity of the content and ranged from around 5 Mbps to about 50Mbps for the most complex scenes that, for example, showed the crowd in Olympic sports events.

Overall, the average bit rate was around 30 Mbps which is the ‘State of the Art’ for VVC. That’s important as CDNs can start to struggle at around 80 Mbps and start to seriously fail at 100 Mbps, which were the first levels of bit rates when 8K was first created by NHK. The output of the demonstrations on the 8KA booth was at 60 fps and in HDR with 10 bit color.

Asus Monitor has 8K Resolution and Accurate Color

Asus provided one of the highlights of the show from the 8K point of view. The firm was showing a new 32″ 8K monitor, the PA32KCX, that had 4,000 miniLED zones to provide support for HDR with peak output of 1200 cd/m2 and full screen output of 1,000 cd/m2. The monitor supports HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4 and Thunderbolt inputs and is intended for color critical applications. It has support for almost all of AdobeRGB and DCI P3 color and is supplied in a calibrated form with a delta-E value of less than 1. The monitor includes a calibrator and will cost around $8,000 when it starts to ship in Q3 of this year.

The new Asus monitor has a true 8K Panel

We recently interviewed Intopix and the firm talked about its technology which is behind the JPEG XS codec. That was a feature of its presence at the show. However, our attention was drawn to a feature of ST.2110 that we had not previously registered as a possibility. Intopix was showing how a virtual display of 8K (although any arbitrary resolution could be used) could be established as an additional display in a Windows-based workstation. The display did not have to exist as a physical device. Other users could then log onto that display using ST.2110 over the network and show the display locally. This facility could lead to some very interesting future possiblities and applications.

Intopix showed an 8K virtual display attached to Windows that could be viewed on the network using ST.2110

Blackmagic Design was garnering a lot of attention at the show when it announced and showed its new Ursa Cine 12K camera, but also teased a 17K version that was part of the same development process. The new 12K camera has a full frame sensor and is claimed to support up to 16 stops of dynamic range and was shown at NAB 2024 with a range of high end lenses (it has interchangeable mounts), accessories and fixtures. It includes an optical low pass filter to minimize aliasing and moiré. We asked if it had a global shutter (a requested feature on many cameras now) but it doesn’t have that feature. However, staff told us that the sensor has just a 4ms read-out time which means that it should be relatively insensitive to rolling shutter artefacts.

Staff also pointed out that the camera also has an integrated 8TB Media Module that has four SD cards in a RAID configuration. An alternative Module allows the use of dual CFexpress cards. The new camera costs $14,995. Blackmagic doesn’t yet have a live 8K camera, but limits its live outputs to 6K currently.

As well as announcing its Ursa Cine 12K camera, Blackmagic teased a 17K version based on the same design process

Another New 8K Camera

Bosma has been supplying its G1 Pro 8K camera for some time (and we heard from others that it is regularly used for surveillance tasks) and at the show, it previewed the G2 a much smaller of the unit that will be available at the end of the year or early in 2025. We asked what was different or new in the G2 and were told – “It’s the same, just smaller”. As you can imagine, heat dissipation was one of the key engineering hurdles to be overcome. The G2 is expected to be used in hand-held applications while the G1 Pro will be used in studio and fixed applications.

Bosma has another 8K camera, this time a smaller one

NXVI is a Chinese company that is dedicated to 8K developments, although it also has switchers and encoders for 4K/UltraHD. The company told us that it can encode HEVC live (from SDI or HDMI 2,1 with 10 bit 4:2:2 content at 8K60P) and deliver it via many different streaming protocols. It was showing how four 4K/UltraHD channels could be shown on an 8K display. The firm is also working on AI for object recognition which exploits the high visual quality of 8K video.

NXVI Told us it is dedicated to 8K

Matrox Video is well established as a supplier of display driving infrastucture and we had a look at the SSX LE6 D100 ST.2110 network interface card, This supports 100Gb Ethernet and can support two channels of 8K60P content with ST.2022 redundancy. The card has hardware-based PTP to provide nanosecond-range ST 2059-2 accuracy and offloads all ST 2110 packet processing from the CPU, which is essential for high-density and high-resolution applications. This card also offers ultra-low latency to minimize in-to-out latency for multi-channel 4K and 8K applications. Content can be direct pass-through.

Watch out for Part 2 of our report.

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