Two years ago, Czech Television published a development plan describing technical progress until 2024. However, the plan updated this year is almost identical. Since then, only the fact that DVB-T and with it terrestrial broadcasting in standard definition has ended has changed. In DVB-T2, ČT already broadcasts in Full HD.
In the meantime, the television updated the entire filming and handling chain, which previously operated in 576i50 or 1080i50 resolution to progressive 1080p50. It also follows that Kavčí hory will not want to get rid of the new hardware right away and the transition to 4K / UHD broadcasting is not on the agenda. In the current plan, therefore, 4K is in the column “we do not count on it until 2026”.
Czech Television states that the transition to the HEVC video format used in DVB-T2 saves data flow during broadcasting, but the demands on computing power have increased tenfold, patents related to HEVC have become more expensive, service, power supply and cooling of new systems have become more expensive. And the TV still broadcasts in only a quarter of the resolution compared to Full HD.
However, the transition to 4K may have other reasons, even if CT does not talk about them out loud.
- The qualitative jump between SD and HD was greater than between HD and UHD. In ordinary households, they would not even notice the difference.
- The Czechia is 60% dependent on terrestrial broadcasting and space must be saved there. In its multiplex, ČT broadcasts six stations with an average data flow of 4.5 Mb / s, which is enough for a relatively dignified 1080p50, but no longer 2160p50.
- This would require better compression, such as the successor VVC format. However, this would in turn mean a complete transformation of ČT check-in stations as well as televisions and set-top boxes in households.
- And there is no “competition” pressure on CT. Newly, 540p50 is enough for Prima and Barrandov in terrestrial broadcasting, because they would rather broadcast eight channels in SD than four in HD. They save higher resolution only for satellites, cable and IPTV, where operators pay for it.