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Satellite operator Eutelsat Communications is ramping up its Ultra-HD activity with the launch of Europe’s first demo channel encoded in HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) and broadcasting at 50 frames per second with 10-bit colour depth (one billion colours – HEVC Main 10 profile).
According to Eutelsat, 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 Direct-to-Home 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, carried on the 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.
Michel Chabrol, Director Marketing Innovation and Digital Cinema at Eutelsat, described the launch of the new channel as another milestone closer towards the commercial roll-out of 4k TV channels that will propel broadcasting into a new era. “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 is the next step the industry has been waiting for and we are delighted to demonstrate this performance through our Hot Bird satellites,” he declared.