Ericsson, Eutelsat, Globecast, Newtec and Sky Italia have successfully completed a series of live tests proving the reliability of an end-to-end satellite-based delivery chain for contribution of live images in 4k.
With the success of these tests, the participating companies have demonstrated that the full satellite delivery chain is able to feed Ultra HD television channels, bringing positive implications for the quality of experience for viewers around the world who expect live coverage of news, sports and cultural events with the highest quality.
The 4k feed was produced by Sky Italia in Quad HD format (3480×2160) at 60 progressive frames per second (fps) using different camera brands and video mixers.
The live sequences from the mixers were then delivered in the form of a quadruple 3G-SDI signal to Ericsson’s Content Acquisition solution. Using Ericsson AVP 2000 Contribution Encoders, that are able to provide true 4k Ultra HD contribution feeds, the signal was compressed in MPEG4 AVC at 60 progressive frame rates per second and 10-bit, 4:2:2 resolution.
The signal was then modulated by the Newtec AZ110 Satellite Modulator, using DVB-S2 16APSK Modulation, making 89 Mbit/s of throughput available over a conventional 36MHz Ku transponder on board the Eutelsat 5 West A satellite located at 5° West.
The satellite uplink was performed and monitored by Globecast from one of its HD SNG trucks, equipped with a 1.5m antenna and 400W amplifier.
The feed was received in Milan and in Southampton with 2.4m antennas. Signal availability was higher than 99.97 per cent. The sequences were then received via 4x Ericsson RX8200 Advanced Modular Receivers feeding a Quad HD professional display.
All partners collaborating on the demonstration were encouraged by the robustness and reliability of the 4k delivery chain. Live sports will be one of the major sources of content which will drive the uptake of 4k/Ultra-HD TV and this demonstration shows that operators, broadcasters and service providers can start building the ecosystems that will enable viewers to enjoy a truly immersive TV experience.