Advanced Television

SES backs Ultra-HDTV 4K ‘standard’

April 19, 2013

By Chris Forrester

SES has linked with Harmonic and chip-set manufacturer Broadcom to create what it describes as the first Ultra-HDTV transmissions using the High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) from Astra’s 19.2 degrees European hot spot. SES says using the HEVC compression improves transmission capacity by some 50 per cent.

The end-to-end demonstration was showcased at SES Industry Days in Luxembourg. SES used Harmonic’s ProMedia Xpress and a HEVC decoder reference-design system based on Broadcom’s BCM7445 device for receiving HEVC encoded Ultra-HD television transmission. The signal was broadcast in DVB-S2 using a data rate of 20 Mbit/s.

The live demonstration for the first time broadcasts a full 3840×2160 pixel Ultra HD picture in HEVC, while previous demonstrations were either broadcast in H.264 or using 4 HD pictures in parallel. SES first live-broadcast a full 3840×2160 pixel Ultra HD picture using the MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) standard at IBC 2012.

Thomas Wrede, VP Reception Systems, SES, said: “We are very proud to present the first Ultra HD demo in the HEVC standard on satellite. SES has once again taken a leadership role in the industry by broadcasting the first real Ultra HD picture in a commercially realistic bandwidth. We are convinced that the HEVC standard will become the option of choice for TV operators broadcasting Ultra HD content and expect the industry to develop prototype Ultra HD receivers in the coming months. With this initiative SES will be significantly driving the Ultra HD ecosystem forward and provide a 24/7 test channel to its industry partners.”

Ian Trow, Senior Director of Emerging Technology and Strategy, Harmonic, said: “SES has achieved an important industry first with Harmonic and Broadcom. This DVB-S2 transmission clearly demonstrates the benefit of HEVC encoding using the Harmonic ProMedia in a live to air Satellite application. A significant compression improvement has been achieved using HEVC when compared to previous Ultra HD deployments using MPEG-4 AVC (H.264).”

“Broadcom is working to advance the adoption of HEVC technologies – and ultimately the distribution of UltraHD content – with SES,” said Joseph Del Rio, Broadcom’s Associate Product Line Director, Broadband Communications Group. “HEVC is the catalyst that will drive UltraHD television with its telepresence-like resolution to consumers.”

Categories: Articles, Broadcast, Standards, UHD, Ultra-HD/4K