Eutelsat Communications launched the first dedicated demonstration Ultra HD channel in Europe on January 8th. Delivered via satellite with the resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 (4K) at 50 frames per second -- the European equivalent to 60p -- the stream is encoded in MPEG-4 with help from video compression solution provider, ATEME, and transmitted at 40 Mbps. This is over twice the bandwidth used by most 1080i broadcasts, but not necessarily an indication of future Ultra HD broadcasts utilization, as they're expected to use the more efficient HEVC codec -- depending on color space and other factors, Ultra HD broadcasts might use less throughput than 1080i does now. With only three very expensive Ultra HD TVs on the market, there aren't many who can take advantage of this. Hopefully if you are one of the lucky few, you're in a position to take advantage of this native content on your latest prized possession.
Eutelsat Launches Europe's First Dedicated Ultra HD (4K) Channel
As the television and cinema industries accelerate their progression towards Ultra HD (4K), Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) today announced it is launching a dedicated demonstration Ultra HD channel for Europe on the EUTELSAT 10A satellite. The first transmissions of content filmed in 4K will start on January 8. Delivering a resolution of eight million pixels, four times the resolution of HDTV, Ultra HD (4K) is poised to mark the next big leap forward in the immersive viewing experience.
Eutelsat's new channel is designed to benefit all actors in the broadcasting chain who want to acquire expertise in 4K, including production companies, pay-TV operators, rights owners and TV set manufacturers. The new channel will operate in progressive mode at 50 frames per second. It will be encoded in MPEG-4 and transmitted at 40 Mbit/s in four Quad HD streams. Eutelsat is partnering with ATEME, a video compression solution provider to the broadcast industry, for the transmissions that will be uplinked to the EUTELSAT 10A satellite from its teleport in Rambouillet, near Paris.
The launch of Europe's first dedicated channel comes as key actors prepare to meet in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, one of the world's leading technology fairs. Ultra HD is expected to be a centrepiece at the show, with new Ultra HD sets showcased by display technology leaders revealing stellar resolution and immersive viewing experience.
"This new step towards 4K continues Eutelsat's longstanding commitment to achieving new broadcast milestones that over the last 20 years have included digital TV, HDTV and 3D," said Jean-François Leprince-Ringuet, Eutelsat's Commercial Director. "Early and close collaboration between all players in the broadcast chain will be a key success factor for this new revolution. We are delighted to propose this first Ultra HD platform forEurope."