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Intelsat, Ericsson demo end-to-end 4K TV transmission

Success shows satellite delivery chain can accommodate next-generation signalsrn
Peter Ostapiuk, Intelsat’s Vice-President of Media Product Management

Intelsat, a leading provider of satellite services, and Ericsson have announced the successful demonstration of a true 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD), end-to-end video transmission over satellite to Turner Broadcasting’s facilities in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the first transmission of a UHD signal over satellite in North America, and indicates that the satellite delivery chain can accommodate the next-generation signals as soon as broadcasters are ready to offer them.

During the demonstration, Intelsat’s Galaxy 13 satellite delivered a 4:2:2 10-bit, 4K UHD signal at 60 frames per second, which resulted in an immersive viewing experience. The 100Mbps video feed was encoded and decoded in real time by Ericsson, using its AVP 2000 contribution encoders and RX8200 receivers, capable of 4K UHD operations as well as HD and SD contribution at the highest quality. Newtec provided the modulation and demodulation hardware, featuring Clean Channel Technology, and the satellite downlink antenna was provided by Turner Broadcasting.

An earlier test between Newtec and satellite transmission provider PSSI Global Services, which was conducted in preparation for the UHD demonstration, achieved 140Mbps over a 36MHz transponder on Galaxy 13 to a 4.6-metre antenna.

“4K UHD is the next evolutionary step for television broadcasting, and just as Intelsat supported the smooth transition from SD to HD, so too will we be ready to support the transition to full-time distribution in this new format,” says Peter Ostapiuk, Intelsat’s Vice-President of Media Product Management.

“We are tremendously pleased with the outcome of this demonstration,” says Giles Wilson, Head of TV Compression Business at Ericsson. “It shows what is feasible in terms of meeting consumer demand for the highest quality possible. Demonstrations such as this show operators that it is possible to start building the necessary ecosystem and a library of UHD TV content now as the industry readies itself for the roll-out of commercial services in the coming years. Ericsson has always been a pioneer of next-generation compression systems, and we are pleased to have worked with Intelsat to lead the way for UHD TV over satellite.”