Prime Time NBA Game is a Slam Dunk in Live 4K UHDTV

By Peter Ostapiuk, Vice President, Media Product Management

As 4K UHDTV gets closer to becoming mainstream, Intelsat and its ecosystem partners continue to prove the readiness of 4K UHDTV technology and the ecosystem.

Last Tuesday night, Intelsat, Time Warner Cable Sports and our ecosystem partners successfully conducted a live 4K UHDTV end-to-end test of the Los Angeles Lakers versus the Golden State Warriors game at the STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. The closed test proves that 4K UHDTV equipment available in the marketplace is ready to transmit a major live sports event from the venue to the home.

The team produced the live transmission of the game using Sony’s PMW-F55 4K cameras and 8000 switcher, and Evertz’s EQX router.  Adtec EN100 Encoders and RD 70 Decoders enabled the transport of the event to Time Warner Cable Sports’ studios.  The signal was transported via two paths – one utilizing Intelsat’s premier broadcast video neighborhood, Galaxy 19 at 97˚ West, and the other utilizing Time Warner Cable Sports’ fiber network.  Once at the studios, a Cisco encoder converted the signal into an HEVC stream and a Cisco Consumer Set Top Box (G-10) enabled the content to be viewed on a 4K UHDTV television.

This successful 4K UHTVD broadcast is just one of many Intelsat has led the charge on.

  • June 2013 — Intelsat and its partners demonstrated a true 4K UHD, end-to-end video transmission over satellite via Galaxy 13, the first transmission of a UHD signal over satellite in North America.
  • September 2013 — Intelsat and partners demonstrated a true 4K UHDTV, end-to-end video transmission over satellite during IBC2013.  This marked the first time a full multi-camera production of a sports event was captured in 4K UHD and transmitted live internationally via satellite and fiber.
  • April 2014 (NAB) and June 2014 (CommunicAsia) — Intelsat and its partners demonstrated the ecosystem readiness of the commercialization of 4K UHDTV.  The team conducted a live transmission of sports programming internationally, further highlighting how production and distribution of exceptional quality 4K UHD images can be achieved alongside existing HD services.

The progression of successful demos and live transmission of sports content further supports the findings of Intelsat’s recent Global Survey of Media Executives:  4K UHDTV:  Adoption and Business Models. In September 2014, Intelsat’s survey stated that nearly half of the respondents believed that sports will be one of the leading drivers of 4K UHDTV adoption.  Last week’s successful test is further evidence that 4K UHDTV is on track to becoming mainstream and the viewing preference for premier sporting events.

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