Navigating the UHD Ecosystem

SMPTE Member:  $499  Non-Member:  $599
Class Size Limit:  20
Course Length:  9 Weeks

Groups of three or more participants may register together for a 10 percent discount.

Virtual Classroom courses are available as private sessions for organizations.

Contact us for details about private course options and with any curriculum questions.

2018 Course Online Start Dates:


Coming Soon!

Course Description:

This virtual classroom course is designed to give you a ‘big picture’ look at the emerging UHD Ecosystem.

The focus is on how UHD implementation will affect both the broadcasting and cinema industries while examining the impact of the audience experience and viewer engagement. 

Upon completion of the course, you should have a firm understanding of how UHD content is produced and acquired as well as moved through post-production to distribution/transmission.

“SMPTE has been studying the entire UHD ecosystem, looking at higher frame rates (HFR), wider color gamut (WCG), pixel density, high dynamic range (HDR), peak brightness, and immersive audio. Leading the way in practical implementation of UHD throughout the production and distribution chain, SMPTE published its first HDR standard, ST 2084, in September 2014. This course leverages SMPTE’s extensive study and standards work to provide participants with an understanding of UHD and its future.”

~ Richard Welsh, SMPTE Education Vice President and CEO at Sundog Media Toolkit

Course Audience:

  • Engineers, Technicians and Craft Engineers who will deploy and use UHD Systems
  • Engineers, Technicians and Craft Engineers involved with content creation, distribution, and delivery
  • Professionals with an interest in UHD  such as Editors and Equipment suppliers

Course Summary:

The online course begins with a general overview of the essentials of UHD. As course participants progress, they will learn about the new creative capabilities and technical challenges UHD brings and, because UHD is still evolving, take an initial look at the impact that it will have on the industry.

The course then looks at the technical standards which underpin UHD. In particular, the high bitrates and techniques used to transport signals are discussed, along with the other new aspects of UHD such as higher frame rates and wide color gamut. In addition, audio system considerations such as 22.2 are discussed.

Shooting compelling UHD content requires greater consideration than today’s more typical point-and-shoot commodity HDTV. This course looks at UHD acquisition and the issues surrounding both new imager technologies and their application to UHD. Particular attention is given to image exposure and the management of high dynamic range.  

While production workflows in UHD aren’t significantly different from HDTV, there are specific challenges to address. The course looks at what is different in UHD content production and covers considerations around the use of legacy HD content in UHD productions and systems. 

The transport of UHD is an evolving element in the story. The standards in place for production infrastructures are discussed in detail, providing a solid insight into system-building with UHD.

In the final modules, the course looks at the state of UHD today and where it is going. A ‘crystal ball’ view of the industry and the impact of UHDTV is offered to provide insight into where developments are taking place and thus where course participants may want to follow activities to stay current as this evolution takes place. The strategic dimensions of UHD are also considered, including potential timescales and barriers to success.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this course participants should be able to:

Describe the technical aspects of how UHD differs from HDTV.

Describe the general end-to-end architecture that comprises the UHD ecosystem.

List the parameters and parameter values of UHD, and nature of compression methods used to convert to a manageable file size for transmission, reception, or storage.

Identify the standards required for implementation of a UHDTV infrastructure

Describe how the techniques of live production are affected by working with UHD and list two major technical considerations for UHD program production.

Summarize the industry-wide reference architecture that encompasses the camera-to-viewer delivery method 


Week 1 – Course Introduction and UHD Fundamentals

Week 2 – UHD Essentials

Week 3 – UHDTV Standards

Week 4 – UHD Content Creation

Week 5 – UHD Content Production

Week 6 – UHD Content Transport

Week 7 – UHD Crystal Ball

Week 8 – Capstone Project

Week 9 – Review and Final Exam