Editor | 13-09-2013
Satellite broadcaster SES has used IBC to unveil its bullish plans to expand its UltraHD services and to fulfil potential in African and Latin America.
At the show, SES demonstrated UltraHD demo channels in the new high efficiency video coding (HEVC) standard broadcast via the prime European orbital position of 19.2 degrees East.
One of the channels was delivered through a partnership with Sky Deutschland and Harmonic to the first actual UltraHD consumer set-top boxes – from Humax and Technicolor – connected to a Sony 84" 4K TV screen; the other was set up by SES and Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute to broadcast UltraHD content in the new HEVC standard, but at higher frame rates.
“By showing these two demo channels [we have] demonstrated how it collaborates with the industry to make UltraHD a commercial reality. We also have immediate plans to use these UltraHD transmissions to provide our industry partners with live satellite signals to demonstrate devices with the 50/60Hz frame rates that the new HDMI 2.0 interface will be capable of,” said Thomas Wrede, vice president of reception systems atSES.
“As technologies for UltraHD mature, SES will continue to work with partners to make UltraHD the ultimate television experience for consumers, not just with more pixels but with better pixels that also deliver brighter, smoother and more colourful pictures.”
Returning to more bread and butter work, SES also revealed that it has inked a ten-year contract with Chinese system integrator, technology provider and network operator, StarTimes Communication Network Technology, to provide services from SES-5 at 5 degrees East to expand its media footprint in Africa and deliver direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast services across the continent. StarTimes claims to be the fastest-growing digital TV operator Africa with over 2.6 million digital terrestrial television (DTT) subscribers. It has also acquired SES’ 20% shareholding in South African pay-TV operator Top TV.