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Sky-D marks world first Ultra HD live broadcast of a football match

With the Ultra HD test of the football match between FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in December 2012, Sky Deutschland laid the foundation for the development of Ultra HD. This test was followed by many further productions, both on and off the football pitch, with the goal of gradually approaching a full end-to-end Ultra HD live production capability. And then, on 26 April, during the match between FC Bayern Munich and SV Werder Bremen on the 32nd Bundesliga matchday, it was time: The world’s first football match broadcast live over satellite in Ultra HD with 50 frames per second (50fps) – encoded with the new HEVC (High Effi-ciency Video Coding) standard. A total of six 4K cameras combined with another four HD cameras, which were upconverted to Ultra HD in the broadcast van, delivered an exciting match with seven goals and a victory for Bayern with a resolution of 2160p50 on several Ultra HD televisions in Sky’s headquarters in Unterföhring.

“By successfully broadcasting a complete Bundesliga match live in what was a true end-to-end test of the full Ultra HD produc-tion chain, it is clear that the day is getting closer when it will be possible to bring a top quality Ultra HD live sport production into the living rooms of consumers,” says Brian Sullivan, CEO of Sky Deutschland.  “There are still a few things to take care of, but I am very confident that we as the innovation leader, along with our partners, are on a very good path to revolutionizing the viewing experience.”

The broadcast was supported by the DFL (Deutsche Fußball Liga) and Sportcast and successfully carried out in collaboration with technology partners Topvision (sport production), MTI Teleport München GmbH (contribution link), SES Platform Services GmbH (playout center), Fraunhofer HHI/Rohde & Schwarz (HEVC encoding, first half), Elemental (HEVC encoding, second half), SES Astra (uplink), Technicolor (UHD HEVC receiver), ViXS (UHD chipset) and Samsung (UHD displays). In the broadcast van, technologies from Vizrt (4K graphics), EVS (UHD server, time loops) and Quantel (UHD server, highlight loops) were used.

The first results will be presented at the Samsung Curved Ultra HD press event in Munich today, on 7 May at 1.30pm by Stephan Heimbecher, Head of Innovations and Standards at Sky Deutschland.

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