Advanced Television

Pope embraces 3D and 4K TV

April 1, 2014

By Chris Forrester

Later this month, on April 27th, Pope Francis will canonise two previous pontiffs as saints in a lavish ceremony in St Peter’s Square, Rome. The event will be broadcast live in 3D by Sky Italia and carried on the 3D channels of BSkyB and Sky Deutschland, and also beamed around the world to cinemas in North and South America and to Europe.

Sky Italia will also capture the event in 4K.  Sky Italia has recently produced (in 3D and 4K) “Treasures of the Vatican Museums”, and this programme will be showcased at the MIPtv market in Cannes next week.

Organised by the Vatican TV Centre (Centro Televisivo Vaticano), its chief Monsignor Dario Vigano said the live transmission will require “more satellites than the Sochi Olympics.” Conventional HDTV images will also be supplied.

The ceremony will make saints of John Paul II and John XXIII, and will need thirteen 3D cameras, and is being seen as a major coup for Sky Italia and will be the first time that Rupert Murdoch’s three European pay-TV broadcasters will have worked on a simultaneous live transmission.

Eutelsat will carry many of the signals around the world using 9 satellites in total. The HD broadcasts from CTV in DVB S2-MPEG4 will be uplinked by Globecast direct from St Peter’s Square to Eutelsat’s 5 West A satellite. In order to ensure global distribution, Eutelsat will coordinate immediate redistribution across nine satellites: a Hot Bird satellite, Eutelsat 5 West A and Eutelsat 8 West A for Europe, 36A and 16A for Africa, 70B and 172A for Asia and Australia and 12 West A and Satmex 8 for the Americas. All feeds will be transmitted from 07.00 UTC to 12.00 UTC on a free-to-air basis so that broadcasters can benefit from live and edited coverage, says Eutelsat.

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