Leading satellite operator SES is claiming to have "pioneered" the first Ultra HD transmission in the HEVC standard.
Broadcasting live from an ASTRA satellite at 19.2 degrees East, the demonstration was the result of a collaboration with partners video delivery infrastructure firm Harmonic and semiconductor solutions provider Broadcom.
The high efficiency video coding (HEVC) standard is designed to address the growing issue of network pressures as online video proliferates. Its proponents claims that HEVC video streams using the new standard will need only half the bit rate of its predecessor, ITU-T H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 Advanced Video Coding (AVC), which currently accounts for over four-fifths of all Web video.
The SES demonstration used Harmonic's ProMedia Xpress and a HEVC decoder reference-design system based on Broadcom's BCM7445 device for receiving HEVC encoded Ultra HD television transmission. The signal was broadcast in DVB-S2 using a data rate of 20Mbps.
The satellite firm says that the demo represented the first broadcasts of a full 3840x2160 pixel Ultra HD picture in HEVC, as previous demonstrations were either broadcast in H.264 or using four HD pictures in parallel. SES first live broadcast a full 3840x2160 pixel Ultra HD picture using the MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) standard at IBC 2012.
"We are very proud to present the first Ultra HD demo in the HEVC standard on satellite ... broadcasting the first real Ultra HD picture in a commercially realistic bandwidth," said Thomas Wrede, VP reception systems, SES. "We are convinced that the HEVC standard will become the option of choice for TV operators broadcasting Ultra HD content, and expect the industry to develop prototype Ultra HD receivers in the coming months."
"HEVC is the catalyst that will drive Ultra HD television with its telepresence-like resolution to consumers," added Joseph Del Rio, Broadcom's associate product line director, Broadband Communications Group.