June 12, 2014 5:00am PT by Carolyn Giardina
Live Ultra HD Coverage of FIFA World Cup Coming to Brazil
Live Ultra HD satellite broadcasting of three FIFA World Cup matches will be available on Globosat’s SPORTV channel through select subscribers and pay-TV operators in Brazil, including Telefonica and NET.
This would still be available to a very limited audience, as the viewers would need an Ultra HD-ready set-top box and television in order to see the match in 4K Ultra HD, which is four times the resolution of today’s HDTV. Hundreds of public viewings sites also are being set up across World Cup host country Brazil in order to expose a wider audience to the emerging TV format.
Sony has partnered with FIFA to produce the Ultra HD coverage of the World Cup, which begins Wednesday. Three matches will be shot in 4K, including one match from the round of 16, to be held June 28; one match from the quarterfinals, July 4; and the final, July 13, at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. The 4K feed is available to interested rights holders.
Said Roberto Primo, CTO of Globosat: “Broadcasting the World Cup in 4K resolution is an important part of our effort to contribute to the evolution of the TV viewing experience in Brazil. Partnering with pay-TV operators that share this goal also allows us to deliver Ultra HD to an even wider viewer audience in the future.”
To make this broadcast possible, Globosat teamed up with suppliers Broadcom and Elemental to create a system using HEVC, a new compression standard that supports 4K. This involves use of Elemental Live video encoders, satellite uplink signal receiving systems provided by Globosat, and Broadcom’s video decoder system-on-a-chip supporting HEVC compression, 10-bit color and 60 frames per second.
There’s some growing interest in taking 4K to a higher frame rate of 60 frames per second, but at this stage, it's not typical though Elemental previously tested 60-frames-per second 4K with Sky Deutschland for a Bayern Munich football match. Said Elemental’s Sergio Silva: “The motion that you see on the screen is much more fluid [at 60 fps]. For sports, which has high motion, this is extremely important."
The BBC also plans to accept FIFA’s 4K feed. The British corporation is using it for a test involving delivery on an IP network and through its digital terrestrial TV service.