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Level 3 Communications and Elemental Technologies will show off a real-time 4K UltraHD video stream using MPEG-DASH and high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) at the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters show (NAB 2014) event next week.

Level 3's content delivery network (CDN) will handle the delivery of the 4K video, which will be encoded and packaged by Elemental.

"Level 3 is proud to play an integral role in the first demonstration of these exciting video broadcast technologies used together," said Mark Taylor, vice president of Media and IP Services at Level 3. "What's more, this is a live stream over our global CDN, which shows our ability to deliver this type of UltraHD to millions of viewers across the world."

With four times the resolution of 1080p HD, 4K video content presents a challenge to traditional compression approaches such as MPEG-2 and advanced video coding (AVC / H.264) in terms of the bandwidth required to deliver a smooth and immersive viewing experience. The HEVC implementation allows for delivery of 4K content at bitrates equivalent to HD content, and pairing it with MPEG-DASH, enables a universal adaptive bitrate streaming solution that works on any platform.

"The combined Level 3 and Elemental workflow demonstrates the viability of real-time 4K streaming services for content programmers and distributors," said Keith Wymbs, CMO at Elemental. "We are pleased to collaborate with Level 3 with our MPEG-DASH and award-winning HEVC implementation to create immersive video experiences."