Editor | 24-07-2013
As it celebrates its first anniversary, the 4EVER consortium has reported solid development in its research programmes, especially those involving the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and Ultra HD.
Formed with the primary goal of paving the way for delivering an enhanced television experience to viewers regardless of the viewing context — such as in the home, on-the-go, as well as in public areas and cinemas — the consortium now includes Orange, ATEME, France Télévisions, GlobeCast, TeamCast, Technicolor and Highlands Technologies Solutions, as well as the Télécom ParisTech and INSA-IETR University labs.
In looking at the work done over the year, advanced video compression solutions provider ATEME revealed that through the HEVC (MPEG/ITU standard) codec development and Ultra HD new format definition and qualification, the consortium was focused on researching, developing and promoting a higher quality video experience. It added that within the first year, 4EVER research was focused on applying the new HEVC compression standard throughout the entire television delivery chain to leverage bandwidth savings on broadcasts and enhance video quality at current data rates.
The development efforts in the year culminated in an end-to-end trial during the 2013 French
Tennis Open.

Looking forward, ATEME said that the consortium would "leverage the wealth of 4K Ultra HD content" collected to date, and undertake a series of quality evaluations in collaboration with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). It will carry out subjective testing using state-of-the-art methodologies developed by Orange Labs to evaluate the quality of experience and determine more precisely the benefits for viewers of 4KTV compared with HDTV. It assured that new 4K Ultra HD captures and experiments would continue in parallel.
The 4EVER consortium will also continue to actively contribute to standardisation initiatives by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and Digital Video Broadcasting project (DVB), focusing in particular on colour space, frame rates and bit depth as well as higher resolution images.
It will also prepare a new trial around a high profile event in the Spring of 2014, celebrating the second anniversary of the project, to evaluate the state of the art in television production and delivery, featuring HEVC and Ultra HD.