Increased bandwidth alone will not be enough to support the transport of higher-resolution content, the founder and chair of the Movie Picture Expert Group (MPEG) has warned.

“It might be easy to switch handsets but you can’t change the infrastructure in one year, so 4G networks will take years and years before they are fully deployed,” said Leonardo Chiariglione.

He pointed to new MPEG standard High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), which promises compression levels of twice those offered by H.264/AVC.

“With this standard, it is possible to send 4K pictures via satellite and terrestrial cable without blowing up the distribution network. [Japanese telecoms operator] NTT DoCoMO has already shown an iPad running HEVC decoding at HD resolution in real time, and when we approve the standard in January, you can expect to see more services,” he said.

Chiariglione was last week awarded the The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Faraday Medal for his contribution to MPEG. He still chairs the MPEG standards committee, which he set up in 1988.