SAPEC/Cisco/RTVE ‘world first’ 8K broadcasts
March 22, 2023
By Chris Forrester
Madrid-based SAPEC, together with Cisco and Spain’s public broadcaster (RTVE, Corporación Radiotelevisión Española), say they will make history by broadcasting 8K content for the first time via terrestrial television in DVB-T2 DTT.
SAPEC says it is leading the creation of the encoder that will allow the RTVE-UPM Cátedra to broadcast live 8K content via DVB-T2, which will be the first broadcast of its kind in the world. The RTVE-UPM Cátedra is a research collaboration between the Spanish public broadcaster RTVE and the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
This project, in which a number of leading companies in the broadcast industry are involved, entails major challenges. The live broadcast will be based on full UHD 8K, Phase-2 content, captured at high quality, and then distributed on an 8Mhz bandwidth UHF multiplex. This means that not only will a 7,680 x 4,320 pixel resolution signal be transmitted. All the benefits of UHD will also be implemented: High Dynamic Range (HDR), Wide Colour Gamut (WCG), High Frame Rate Refresh Rate (HFR) and next-generation NGA audio.
SAPEC is a leading Spanish company with more than four decades dedicated to the design, development, and manufacture of cutting-edge solutions, is developing an 8K encoder built on equipment developed by Cisco. The initiative stems from a collaboration agreement between the RTVE-UPM Cátedra and the US company signed at the Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona.
For this project, SAPEC will use all the knowledge it has on UHD and video compression, acquired over more than a decade with pioneering projects (such as the world’s first UHD broadcast in DVB-T2 with HDR, WCG and AC-4 content) and materialised in equipment prepared to work with this type of workflows, such as the modular SIVAC-ONE platform. As a matter of fact, SIVAC-ONE encoders have been the backbone of the UHD broadcasts promoted by the UHD SPAIN association since 2021, which were distributed via DTT, satellite, streaming and HbbTV, and culminated with the broadcasting of the Qatar World Cup in UHD.
The live DTT 8K broadcast will take place soon at the Official RTVE Institute, where the technical description of the pilot and the live demonstration of the initiative will be held. SAPEC has been a member of the Advisory Committee of the RTVE-UPM Cátedra since its foundation, participating in the planning and deployment of all technological pilots and preparing technical reports for the sector.
Miguel Ángel Cristóbal, CEO of SAPEC, believes that the attention of the entire broadcasting world will be drawn to this project with a Spanish accent: “The 8K live broadcast will be a new milestone for the Spanish broadcast industry, which will once again demonstrate that it is not afraid to continue exploring the path of innovation. SAPEC is proud to collaborate with the RTVE-UPM Cátedra and its advisory committee, and to contribute to this great initiative with the talent of our team, which has been serving the broadcast industry for decades.”