Broadcasting Tech

SES Demonstrates The First Ever Broadcast Of 8K Television

Satellite operator and video provider SES will be breaking world record by broadcasting for the first time an 8K television signal via its satellite system. The incredible 8K demonstration will be transmitted via an Astra with four times as many pixels as 4K UHD.

Relying on the new DVB-S2X standard that enables higher efficiency, the transmission will be conducted on a single 36 MHz transponder on ASTRA 3B. With an impressive resolution of 7680x4320 pixels, the video will be encoded in HEVC and transmitted at the rate of 80 Mbit/s, which is four times greater than for the 4K signal. In addition to that, the test transmission will use a native IP formatted signal, which provides insights into the what is required of a future All-IP broadcast infrastructure for TV.

For this demonstration, the global satellite operating giant has partnered with Spin Digital, a video technology company which developed the expertise to decode and playback 8K HEVC signals in real-time using a software solution, and also encoded the content using its HEVC encoder. Besides, SES teamed up with electronics company Sharp / UMC, which is providing the 8K screens.

The 8K content, with a frame rate of 60 frames per second and 10-bit colour depth, features native 8K camera footage provided by  Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) and an 8K animation (CGI) provided by Unigine Corp.

VP, New Technology & Standards at SES Video, Thomas Wrede, said: “Though 8K remains challenging with the video codecs presently available and is quite some years away from being introduced to consumer homes, this demonstration shows that satellites can now carry 8K signals. As we always make efforts to take the video experience to another level, we are very proud to provide this exciting glimpse at the future of television. At the same time, we continue to put our focus on supporting our customers and partners in bringing current technologies, such as 4K UHD and HDR, to consumer homes.”


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