IBC: BT Planning Ultra-HD Transmission Test

UPDATED: This is one of several 4K broadcast tests scheduled to take place during the IBC convention in Amsterdam.

BT Media and Broadcast, a division of the U.K. telco, plans to deliver an international multicamera production of a sports event shot in 4K and transmitted live via satellite.

The test transmission of a Premier League rugby match between Saracens and Gloucester in London will take place on Sept. 15, and be shown live at the Intelsat stand at the International Broadcasters Convention (IBC), which begins on Thursday in Amsterdam.

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BT is partnering with Intelsat, Ericsson, Sony, Newtec and BT Sport, the telco's pay TV division that launched on August 2 and owns the rights to the event.

"BT Sport is a client of ours just in the way Sky is a client," said Mark Wilson-Dunn, vp global sales and marketing for BT Media and Broadcast. "If we can keep this technical partnership together, including the consumer arm of certain organizations, then we can bring a 4K experience to market very quickly."

According to BT, it will transmit the signal over the BT Global Media Network, which has been designed to be a live linear video broadcast IP network to handle 4K TV.

This is one of several tests of Ultra-HD coinciding with IBC. Sony Pictures with Sky Deutschland, 3net, SES and Pace will demonstrate a live-by-satellite 4K transmission of pre-recorded content. Satellite operator Eutelsat marks IBC with the launch of an Ultra-HD test channel aimed at 4K set top boxes equipped with HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) chipsets that will feed consumer Ultra HD TV sets via a single HDMI cable.

Two weeks ago, BSkyB made the first live U.K. test broadcast of an event in 4K when it transmitted a Premiership soccer match in the format back to screens at its London area headquarters.