Eutelsat backs U-HDTV

Paris-based satellite operator Eutelsat is fully backing the emerging U-HDTV concept of improved-definition broadcasting. Eutelsat is shooting its own 4000-line ‘test footage’ ahead of starting a demo channel ahead of what they expect to be commercial deployments around 2015.

Michel Chabrol, who heads up Eutelsat’s Digital Cinema initiative, says that despite the investment needed for broadcasters (and the public, via new 4K displays) the new technology will be a success offering “an unprecedented viewing experience to viewers”.

Wisely, perhaps, Chabrol didn’t put a date on when mass market deployment would come about, but said that Eutelsat saw first end-user equipment arriving in the 2013-2014 time-frame. Eutelsat’s craft are fully ready for the technology although Chabrol recognised that further standards development was needed, not least in the HDMI specification which needs development beyond the HDMI 1.4b spec (which can handle 4K up to 30 frames/second) and to an HDMI version 2.0 which would be good for 50/60 fps.

“We are enthusiastic, of course. But the progressive adoption of Ultra-HDTV will bring satellite broadcasting back to the frontline, way beyond DSL technologies. Satellite will be the only distribution channel to provide UHD to every homes, and to multiple UHD sets within the home.”

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