International Telecommunication Union: we’re one step closer to ultra high-definition TVs

Consider this fair warning – that shiny, $3,000 55″ HDTV you just bought may be obsolete sooner than you’d expect. The International Telecommunication Union, which helps determine broadcast industry standards, has released new information on its work to make ultra high-definition television a consumer reality.

International Telecommunication Union: we're one step closer to ultra high-definition TVs

Based on pixel count alone, UHDTVs will make vanilla HDTVs look like SDTVs. The ITU recently viewed Japanese satellite broadcast company NHK‘s take on the technology. The demonstration boasted a mind-boggling 33 million pixels. To put that into context, ITU pointed out that current high-end HDTVs top off at just 2 million pixels.

Last October, the NHK and BBC conducted the world’s first UHDTV broadcast. While it failed to showcase the experimental resolution in all its glory, the ITU is planning another testbed for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

“UHDTV promises to bring about one of the greatest changes to audio-visual communications and broadcasting in recent decades,” said Christoph Dosch, Chairman of the ITU Broadcasting Service Study Group. “Technology is truly at the cusp of transforming how people experience audio-visual communications.”

Similar pie-in-the-sky remarks were not uncommon prior during HDTVs launch in the late 1990s, yet it took a few years before the technology enjoyed relatively mainstream acceptance.

Considering the high cost of entry for early HDTVs (and the still pricey top tier sets), UHDTV’s greatest challenge won’t be wowing consumers, but convincing them to part ways with another few grand. (via Home Media Magazine)