NASA is partnering with Harmonic, to launch NASA TV UHD, the first ever non-commercial consumer UltraHD (UHD or 4K) channel in North America.
The partnership is the result of a Space Act Agreement between Harmonic and the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Using an end-to-end UHD video delivery system from Harmonic, NASA Television will have the capability to deliver linear 2160p60 video content, allowing viewers to enjoy footage on a wide range of television and internet-connected devices. The new UHD channel is expected to launch on Nov. 1, following preliminary tests.
“Partnering with Harmonic gives NASA an outlet for its UHD content, which has four times the resolution of HD and is the next iteration of digital television,” said Robert Jacobs, deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Communications at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.
Leveraging the 8-megapixel resolution of UHD, the channel will showcase the breathtaking beauty and grandeur of space. NASA TV UHD video will be sourced from high-resolution images and video generated on the International Space Station and other current NASA missions, as well as re-mastered footage from historical missions.
Harmonic currently is in discussions with pay TV operators to carry the channel on the satellite, cable and optical networks for consumer access. The channel also will stream on the Internet, which will require at least 13 MBps access connectivity to receive the signal and enjoy the UHD experience.
“As NASA reaches new heights and reveals the unknown, the NASA TV UHD channel can bring that journey to life in every home. And as organizations at the forefront of innovation, together we are leading the adoption of this exciting technology,” said Peter Alexander, chief marketing officer at Harmonic.
“As the leader in UHD development, Harmonic provides a complete solution for Ultra HD video production and delivery, enabling content and service providers to offer better video quality at a low total cost of ownership.”