BBC trialling 4K Outside Broadcast at the World Cup

The BBC has announced today that in a trial with BT and Arqiva, they will broadcast the World Cup final, plus two other matches in Ultra HD (UHD) as part of ongoing experiments. This trial will be the first time that 4K resolution will be distributed over the DTT and IP infrastructure to a number of closed environments.

The Fifa-supplied 4K 60p feed of the final, one of the tournaments quarter-finals and one last-16 game will be linked via satellite from the Maracanã stadium in Rio to London data centre Telehouse and befoire being sent to BBC R&D in Shepherd’s Bush for encoding to the HEVC (H.265) compression standard.

Arqiva will then take the feed through its fibre network, Arqnet, for DTT transmission, while BT will handle IP routing through its content delivery network.

Matthew Postgate, R&D controller at the BBC said; “We believe in increasing definition, which we think offers a tangible, real benefit for audiences and our ability to tell stories. [...] In doing this development work, we are starting to piece together 4K distribution for UK audiences, and how a strategy might manifest itself over the next 12 to 18 months.”

Findings from the BBC’s World Cup Ultra HD trials will be presented and discussed at the DTG’s UK UHD Forum at a later date.

Update:

These trials will be using NEC's new High Efficieny Video Coding (HEVC) solution and transmitters in the trials at their demo centre to demonstrate the transmissions. HEVC allows consumers to enjoy 4K resolution by doubling the compression efficiency of the current Mpeg 4 technology.

Mike Rhodes-Peel, Head of Broadcast Solutions at NEC, EMEA said; "These trials will show the benefits that UHD TV broadcasting can bring to BBC viewers. [...] The compression technology is [...] a major breakthrough as we transition to a multi-platform mobile, online and terrestrial world.”

What do you think? Would you pay extra for your service to have 4K resolution on content? Send us your thoughts, via Twitter @DigitalTVGroup.

DTG Staff  |  05.06.2014

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