Unprecedented Ultra HD broadcast from the Vatican by Eutelsat

The ceremony of the opening of the Holy Door, that took place in the Vatican on December 8, was the first worldwide Ultra HD live broadcast ever transmitted via satellite. The event has been produced by the Vatican Television Center with the support of Eutelsat, Sony, Globecast and DBW Communication.

This unprecedented initiative in the broadcast industry used C-band resources on EUTELSAT 8 West B for coverage of Europe, Africa and South America, EUTELSAT 113/117 West for North and South America and EUTELSAT 172A for Asia and Oceania.

The live satellite images of the ceremony was shown on two screens placed in the Paul VI Atrium in the Vatican. The Ultra HD images were also available on a Direct-to-Home basis via the 4K1 channel broadcast from Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD video neighbourhood. Italian satellite TV homes with compatible devices were able to follow the event in Ultra HD through Tivùsat which recently added Eutelsat’s 4K1 channel to its platform. In France, the ceremony has been broadcasted on the FRANSAT Ultra HD channel via the EUTELSAT 5 West A satellite.

This worldwide premiere was routed through four teleports, with operations centralised from Eutelsat’s teleport in Rambouillet, near Paris. Two mobile units located in the Vatican and operated by Globecast managed uplinks of images filmed in Ultra HD and HD by DBW Communication. The Ultra HD signals, shot with 19 Sony cameras, were compressed using the HEVC standard and encoded using the latest tools provided by Ericsson, NTT Electronics and Thomson Video Networks. 

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