Hispasat offers 4K LatAm test channel

Spanish satellite operator Hispasat is to offer a free test channel to enable Latin American pay-TV providers and distributors to air 4K programming in the region.

Speaking at the Congresso Latino-Americano Satélites conference in Rio de Janeiro, Elena Pisonero, chairman of Hispasat, told news agency Efe that the operator wanted to encourage regional players to try out and invest in the technology. “I’m sure that 4K will be very well-received in the region,” she said.

The channel will be available from October 2014 to all companies that transmit programming based on Hispasat’s Amazonas 4A satellite, which covers all of Latin America.

“We’re offering a channel so that content producers and the manufacturers that must incorporate this technology can freely transmit via the Hispasat 4K channel,” she explained.

Hispasat launched a similar channel in Europe in September 2013 using the Hispasat 1E satellite and announced a 4K channel for North and Central America at the NAB Show in mid-April 2014, with the signal sent from Hispasat’s Amazonas 3 craft.

Hispasat transmitted FIFA World Cup football matches in 4K with great success both in Latin America and Europe, according to Pisonero, who said the tests would also allow Hispasat to improve its transmission and reception technology.

“We want to facilitate the introduction of this technology in Latin America because it offers a completely new viewing experience,” she concluded.

Hispasat is also borrowing $250 million from Export Development Canada, an import-export bank owned by Canada’s federal government, in order to pay for a new satellite it wants to buy from MDA, the new owner of Space Systems/Loral.

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