First Ultra HD channel launches in Europe

Jan 14, 2013
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CES 2013 was all about Ultra HD, and we ended up seeing a lot of concepts that will either be launched in a few years, or are out right now at a crazy-expensive price. However, that isn't stopping one European television channel from broadcasting in the new definition. Eutelsat Communications launched the first dedicated demonstration Ultra HD channel in Europe last week.

The signal is delivered via satellite with a 4K resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 at 50 frames per second. The stream is encoded in MPEG-4 and transmitted at 40 Mbps, which is over twice the bandwidth used by most 1080i broadcasts. However, it's not necessarily an indication of what future Ultra HD broadcasts will look like, since they'll still use the more-efficient HEVC codec.

With only three Ultra HD TVs on the market right now, there aren't many who can take advantage of the new 4K channel from Eutelsat, but hopefully if you are one of the lucky few who can afford one of these bad boys, there's at least one channel you can take advantage of.

It's not stated exactly what kind of content is being broadcasted at the moment, but the timing is certainly no coincidence -- Eutelsat timed its launch to correspond with the flood of news around Ultra HD at CES last week. And while there's not a lot of 4K content to be passed around just yet, it's nice to see at least one TV channel taking advantage of the situation.


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