BVE 2016: The tipping point for Ultra High Definition (UHD) adoption in the UK will be the end of the 2017, the DPP (Digital Production Partnership) has calculated.

Speaking at BVE in London, during “The DPP guide to 2016: 3 things that could make this year a game-changer”, DPP managing director Mark Harrison told the assembled audience that the key components of available content, agreed standards, production readiness and cost neutrality plus TV-set uptake should align by the fourth quarter of 2017.

“By that point, the UHD work that will have started in 2016 will have become mature in both the consumer and broadcast markets,” he said.

“Industry standards still need to be ratified but this will be done by early 2017. Evidence from the consumer market around uptake suggests that there will be enough people with UHD TV sets by the end of 2017. This also gives enough time for commissioning cycles to generate the UHD content.”

The estimate was based on the conclusions of the ‘DPP at Home’, an invitation-only DPP Members discussion event.

Other predictions suggest that by the end of 2017 any producer seeking to make content in UHD will find it “straightforward to identify production and craft talent who were familiar with the format.”

The point at which the cost of producing in UHD will be cost neutral – the same as it is currently in HD - could also be late 2017, it was estimated, but that could take until the end of 2018.

Harrison was also quick to highlight High Dynamic Range (HDR) as an important component of the UHD adoption as, unlike additional resolution, wider picture contrast is commonly considered to be beneficial irrespective of display size or viewing position.

A significant portion of the audience agreed with this point via a show of hands.

“The movie industry is very excited about HDR,” opined Harrison. “In the same way that 4K entered the general parlance, HDR will enter the public lexicon through cinema first.”

He added that if there is, as predicated, a UHD content ‘take-off’ in late 2017 then the UHD plus HDR content tipping point will probably be more like mid-2018.

The DPP published an industry-agreed common file delivery standard for UHD programmes in January.

“The DPP guide to 2016: 3 things that could make this year a game-changer” seminar took place in the Post Production and Workflow Theatre at BVE at London’s ExCel exhibition centre on Wednesday 25 February 2016.