SES Showcases its First Broadcast of 8K Television

With four times as many pixels as 4K UHD, the 8K demonstration will be transmitted via an Astra satellite and showcased at the SES Industry Days conference

 Luxembourg, 23 May 2018 – Always at the forefront of television developments, SES will be broadcasting an 8K television signal via its satellite system for the first time during the annual SES Industry Days, held in Luxembourg on 23 and 24 May.

Relying on the new DVB-S2X standard that enables greater efficiency, the transmission will be carried out on a single 36 MHz transponder on ASTRA 3B. With a resolution of 7680×4320 pixels, the video will be encoded in HEVC and transmitted at a rate of 80 Mbit/s, which is four times higher than for a 4K signal. In addition, the test transmission will use a native IP formatted signal, providing some insights into the requirements of a future All-IP broadcast infrastructure for television.

For this demonstration, SES has partnered with Spin Digital, which developed the expertise to decode and playback 8K HEVC signals in real-time using a software solution, and also encoded the content using its HEVC encoder. In addition, SES teamed up with Sharp / UMC, which is providing the 8K screens.

The 8K content, with a frame rate of 60 frames per second and 10-bit colour depth, features native 8K camera footage provided by PSNC (Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center) and an 8K animation (CGI) provided by Unigine Corp.

“Even though 8K remains challenging with the video codecs available today, and is several years away from introduction to consumer homes, this demonstration shows that satellites are now capable of carrying 8K signals. As we always strive to take the video experience to the next level, we are very proud to provide this exciting glimpse at the future of television,” said Thomas Wrede, VP, New Technology & Standards at SES Video. “At the same time, we continue to be very much focused on supporting our customers and partners in bringing current technologies, such as 4K UHD and HDR, to consumer homes.”

For further information please contact:

  • Markus Payer
    Corporate Communications & PR. SES
    Tel. +352 710 725 500
    Markus.Payer@ses.com
  • Mauricio Alvarez-Mesa
    CEO. Spin Digital
    mauricio@spin-digital.com

About SES
SES is the world-leading satellite operator and the first to deliver a differentiated and scalable GEO-MEO offering worldwide, with more than 50 satellites in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and 16 in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). SES focuses on value-added, end-to-end solutions in two key business units: SES Video and SES Networks. The company provides satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, governments and institutions. SES’s portfolio includes ASTRA, O3b and MX1, a leading media service provider that offers a full suite of innovative digital video and media services. SES is listed on the Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange (ticker: SESG). Further information available at: www.ses.com

About Spin Digital
Spin Digital Video Technologies GmbH (Spin Digital) develops high-performance video codecs for the next generation of ultra-high-quality video applications. Spin Digital software solutions enable media applications that require the latest image and video processing enhancements including very high resolution (4K, 8K, and 16K), high dynamic range, high frame rate, wide color gamut, and 360° video and virtual reality. Spin Digital core technology is a high-performance and high-quality HEVC/H.265 software codec (encoder/decoder). Based on this core technology Spin Digital has developed a solution that includes a media player, a transcoder, as well as an SDK ready to be integrated into custom applications. By using Spin Digital products media professionals can create a new generation of media applications that demand very high quality in different industry segments including 8K UHD-TV, very large screen display, and next-generation virtual reality. Spin Digital is based in Berlin, and operates in an international B2B environment, working with customers and partners in several countries and market areas.