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The June 30th quarter-final of the Euro 2016 football tournament between Portugal and Poland marked the kick-off of seven consecutive matches that Rai, Italy’s national public broadcaster, and Eutelsat are offering Italian TV homes in Ultra HD. The pair say the initiative marks Rai’s most ambitious foray into Ultra HD, which represents the next big leap forward in broadcasting.
Images of the match were filmed by 14 Ultra HD cameras located by UEFA at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseilles and sent to the International Broadcasting Centre (IBC) in Paris where they were forwarded to Eutelsat’s Paris-Rambouillet teleport. A temporary studio set up by Rai at the teleport added live commentary, after which the special Rai 4k channel was encrypted and uplinked to Eutelsat’s HOTBIRD satellites. Tivùsat homes equipped with an Ultra HD screen and a CAM certified by Tivùsat were able to watch the first quarter-final which will be followed on 1, 2 and 3 July by the three other quarter finals, the semi-finals on 6 and 7 July and the final match on 10 July.
These live broadcasts of European Championship matches constitute Italy’s most significant broadcast of live sport in Ultra HD and prefigure the launch of regular channels. With the take-up of Ultra HD screens in Italy expected to hit one million units by end 2016, the market for higher resolution TV is rapidly taking shape.
The special broadcasts also involve the support of industry-leading technology partners, including DBW Communication and V-Nova, which is providing the P.Link 4K, a software-based contribution encoding and decoding system that can contribute the highest signal quality from the IBC.