Dec 052017

Blue Planet II to be shown in Ultra HD on BBC iPlayer

The BBC is to screen the complete series of nature documentary the Blue Planet II in the Ultra HD and HDR formats.

All seven episodes will be made available to compatible TVs via the BBC iPlayer immediately after the transmission of Sunday’s series finale.

Matthew Postgate, Chief Technology and Product Officer, BBC Design & Engineering, said: “The extra quality that Ultra HD, HDR and the wider range of colours brings to audiences is unparalleled. Blue Planet II is the first programme we’ve shown in such high quality and perfectly demonstrates how the BBC is pushing the boundaries of digital innovation. Making the full series available in Ultra HD and HDR on BBC iPlayer is the next step in reinventing the BBC for a new generation, and there’s not a better place to start than with the stunning Blue Planet II.”

The BBC says it is a significant step toward bringing more HDR programmes to more people, as it meets the complex needs of TV broadcasters, especially with live broadcasts. Blue Planet II has been converted using specialist encoding and packaging tools within BBC R&D. It’s planned to add a UHD HDR encoding capability to their existing iPlayer encoding platform.

BBC iPlayer will also introduce a wider range of colours to the Ultra HD and HDR version. This means audiences can enjoy shades of colours never before seen in a BBC programme, bringing the spectacular animals, vibrant coral reefs and deep blue oceans of Blue Planet II to life like never before.

Ultra HD programmes take advantage of higher resolution TVs so that audiences can watch scenes like the deadly Portuguese man o’war catch its prey in exceptional clarity
HDR takes this further with greater detail in the shadows and dark areas of the picture, as well as more natural and brighter highlights and mirror-like reflections
Wider range of colours are possible by making the most of a Wider Colour Gamut technology, meaning audiences can enjoy the most lifelike BBC TV show ever made
23Mbps The broadband speed needed to get the most out of Blue Planet II in UHD. Users on less may still benefit from improved quality.

The landmark documentary series, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, uses revolutionary camera techniques and technology to capture breath-taking scenes from oceans around the world.


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