Eutelsat steps up Ultra HD activity

May 26, 2014 16.14 Europe/London By Robert Briel

ultra-hd-4k-girlEutelsat Communications is scaling up its Ultra HD activity with the launch of Europe’s first demo channel encoded in HEVC and broadcasting at 50 frames per second with 10-bit colour depth (one billion colours – HEVC Main 10 profile).

These three parameters are key for creating a favourable economic environment for Ultra HD and delivering consumers the most rewarding viewing experience on new-generation home displays.

The new channel has been launched at Eutelsat’s Hot Bird video neighbourhood which provides DTH reach of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The channel is also the first that can be received direct by consumers using the latest 4k TV panels equipped with DVB-S2 demodulators and HEVC decoders.

Ultra HD content, encoded by ATEME that is now broadcasting in Eutelsat’s newest channel includes extracts of a performance in the Royal Chapel at Versailles of Monteverdi’s Vespers conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner. The filming was co-produced by Wahoo Production and Château de Versailles Spectacles with the participation of France Télévisions, using eight cameras operating at 50 frames per second.

“The launch of this new channel is another milestone taking us closer towards the commercial roll-out of 4k TV channels that will propel broadcasting into a new era,” said Michel Chabrol, Director Marketing Innovation and Digital Cinema at Eutelsat.

“Immense progress has been made with partners in the broadcasting chain since the launch in January 2013 of the first demonstration Ultra HD channel on a Eutelsat satellite. HEVC encoding combined with 50 frames per second are the next step the industry has been waiting for and we are delighted to demonstrate this performance through our HOT BIRD satellites.”