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BSkyB completes Ultra HD test

UK pay TV operator BSkyB has conducted a test broadcast in Ultra HD at its West London facility.

The broadcaster filmed Saturday’s football match between West Ham and Stoke City and transmitted the whole match live over satellite through its studio facility.

The match coverage was directed live, produced and edited by Sky’s in-house production and broadcast operations teams using four Sony F55 ultra-HD cameras and two ultra-HD WVS servers for replay and graphics. Sky used a purpose-built outside broadcast vehicle in partnership with Sony and Telegenic to film the match, which was shown on a Sony 84-inch ultra-HD TV at its headquarters in Isleworth.

Sky said the demo was not part of a product launch, but was purely intended as a demonstration of its ongoing work in this area to meet future demand for the ultra-HD format.

According to BSkyB, the picture was broadcast in Ultra High Definition 2160 x 3840, four times the resolution of current HD and at 50 frames per second, double the current HD rate of 25 using the QFHD format of four full HD tiles to construct the full image.

“We saw enough in this test event to know that live sport in UHD has real potential. The broadcast also demonstrated the capability of our satellite platform, which is ideally placed to continue supporting high-bandwidth video. That said, we’ve still much more to learn, particularly about how to make full use of UHD from a live production perspective,” said Barney Francis managing director, Sky Sports.

He added: “While we continue our research and development, we are also keeping a close eye on how the wider market for UHD develops, particularly in relation to how quickly UHD TVs begin to entre UK homes. And as and when affordable UHD TVs are available, over the next few years, our early leadership will position us well.”