CableLabs has launched a 4K-focused microsite that provides access to Ultra HD/4K video clips to help platform developers, vendors, network operators and other video pros conduct tests with the emerging eye-popping format.
CableLabs said it’s offering the content under the Creative Commons License, meaning it can be used freely for non-commercial testing, demonstrations and the general advancement of technology.
As vendors utilize content from the site to test new technology, CableLabs helps the industry get one step closer to standardizing 4K content and delivering to the home.
As of this writing, the site hosts seven videos, all shot with a Red Epic camera. The longest of the batch is a fireman-focused clip titled “Seconds That Count” that runs 5 minutes and 22 seconds.
On the site, CableLabs has integrated an upload form for anyone who wants to share their 4K videos for the purpose of testing. Interested particiapnts are directed to provide a lower bite-rate HD file for preview purposes along with a 4K version. CableLabs is accepting pre-transcoded versions using MPEG HEVC or AVC, or Apple ProRes version. CableLabs will take on the task of transcoding the content into two high quality versions available for download on the website.
“Our intent is to make this a marquis website for vetting next-generation content that can be available to platform developers and network operators,” the site FAQ reads. “By sharing your video content through this site, you have the opportunity to gain unique connections directly with cable operators around the world.”
CableLabs notes that uploaded content might be used for demos at forums, shows, and conferences.
CableLabs is launching the site as the cable industry just begins to develop plans around 4K. Among major U.S. MSOs, Comcast plans to launch an Internet-based, on-demand Xfinity TV 4K app before the end of the year that will initially be available on new Samsung UHD. The MSO is also working with partners on a new generation of boxes for its X1 platform that uses HEVC and can decode native 4K signals.
On the competitive front, DirecTV president and CEO Mike White said on the company's second quarter earnings call that the satellite TV giant will be ready to deliver 4K video on an on-demand basis this year, and be set up to follow with live 4K streaming next year or by early 2016.