SES Claims World First For 8K Delivery From Satellite

SES, one of the world’s big three satellite platform operators in the DTH (Direct To Home) field, has claimed a world first for a transmission of 8K content to a 82” flat-screen 8K set with a built-in satellite receiver capable of decoding the signal.

Staged during an annual ‘Industry Days’ at its Luxembourg headquarters, the 8K content, at a resolution of 7680×4320 pixels at 50 fps, was encoded by Spin Digital using its HEVC encoder at a bit rate of 70 Mbps for broadcast-grade quality. The transmission was carried out by SES on a single 33 MHz transponder using DTH broadcast parameters.

The 82” Samsung 8K Q950RB QLED production model TV received the signal directly using DVB-S2 transmission parameters configured specifically for this demo. This TV features a 4000 Nits peak luminance, an 8K-compatible HEVC 50/60 fps video decoder and the latest HDMI interface, capable of displaying High Dynamic Range (HDR) content.

“Samsung is fully committed to the development of a future 8K TV market and this demonstration of the viability of the SES satellite platform is an important step towards that goal”, said John Adam, Head of Business Development and Industrial Affairs at Samsung Research UK.

As SES Video VP for New Technology & Standards Thomas Wrede admitted, “it will be years before large 8K flat screens or video walls become a common sight in our living rooms.” However he insisted that “nonetheless, we are anticipating the future by working with our industry partners to further improve the consumer’s video quality experience and to define an 8K satellite broadcasting standard.”

According to SES, transmitting broadcast-quality 8K content across multiple video formats needs both efficient video coding and reliable infrastructure technology.

Eutelsat and Intelsat are the other two big global satellite platforms carrying a lot of DTH traffic, based in Paris and Luxembourg respectively. 

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