HISPASAT unveils its Ultra High Definition channel at IBC 2013 conference

September 15, 2013

Company offers its new HISPASAT 4K channel to industry to drive development of this cutting-edge technology.

HISPASAT, the Spanish satellite communications operator, has unveiled its new Ultra High Definition (UHD) satellite television channel, HISPASAT 4K at the IBC 2013 conference in Amsterdam. The conference is being held in this Dutch city from the 13 to 17 September.

As from today, the company will begin permanent, unscrambled satellite transmissions of the channel, making it available to the industry to perform tests and develop advanced solutions for new video formats. In doing so, its aim is to contribute to the generation of content in this format, and boost the development of this technology to be able to roll it out for viewers as soon as possible. From today, the HISPASAT 4K channel will enable UHD content to be broadcast. The first broadcast will be a fifty-minute documentary on the Prado Museum produced by Televisión Española (RTVE) and co-produced by HISPASAT.

First to air during the channel's launch was a summary of the documentary, which will soon premier at the San Sebastian Film Festival. The event was attended by Xavier Redón, Product Manager at Abertis Telecom; Eric Gallier, Thomson's Vice President of Marketing; and Pere Vila, Director of Technological Innovation and Planning at RTVE. These companies along with LG are HISPASAT's partners on this project.

HISPASAT's Business Director, Ignacio Sanchis, presented the channel, underlining the high definition and precision of the UHD broadcasts of the museum's works of art and the extent to which the technology faithfully reproduces the volumes, textures and colors of the paintings it exhibits. This clarity and precision “is essential to transmitting a true representation of these works to the viewer and are also important when viewing nature, architecture and sports events.”

Sanchis indicated that “the satellite represents an ideal platform for developing UHD services due to its universal footprint, high capacity and large bandwidth; essential for transmitting large amounts of high-definition data”, and emphasized that HISPASAT has been a pioneer in UHD satellite transmissions, having emitted 4K-quality broadcasts in Brazil, Spain and a number of other European countries.

“HISPASAT's efforts in the UHD field are yet another example of the company's innovator spirit”, said Sanchis, indicating that the company is developing several technology projects aimed at offering its customers latest-generation telecommunications solutions. “The push towards UHD is one of the most interesting, and responds to our mission to remain at the cutting edge of technology; making sure the latest advances in the telecoms field reaches our customers and society as a whole as quickly and efficiently as possible”, he ended.

The new channel will be broadcast in MPEG-4 at a speed of 35 Mbs, and –in experimental format– in the new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVEC) format at a speed of 18 Mps. This will make the satellite transmission system the most efficient anywhere in the world at present. Content, coded in these formats, will be broadcast pursuant to the DVB-S2 standard by the Hispasat 1E satellite, offering coverage across Europe. It is also planned that transmissions will begin in North America and Latin America in a few months.

Ultra High Definition (or 4K) television offers four times as many pixels as on a high-definition screen. The resolution is therefore four times higher that of conventional high definition, providing a sharpness that gives viewers an extremely high perception of image quality. This content can be broadcast thanks to the power of HISPASAT's satellites, thanks to their design aimed at Direct-To-Home (DTH) services.



HISPASAT Group is made up of companies with a presence in Spain as well as Latin America, where its Brazilian affiliate, HISPAMAR commercializes its services in Latin America. The Group is the leader in the diffusion and distribution of content in Spanish and Portuguese, including the transmission of important digital DTH and High Definition Television (HDTV) platforms. HISPASAT is one of the most important companies in the world in its sector by revenue and the main communications bridge between Europe and America.

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