[IBC 2012] Sony Unveils Real-time Transmission System for 4k Video

Sep 11, 2012
Hiroki Yomogida, Nikkei Electronics
The video transmission system using a satellite
The video transmission system using a satellite
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The system being demonstrated near the reception desk of Sony's booth
The system being demonstrated near the reception desk of Sony's booth
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SES's infrastructures are used.
SES's infrastructures are used.
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The "F65" professional camcorder can shoot 4k video
The "F65" professional camcorder can shoot 4k video
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In its booth, Sony displayed an entire video making process from shooting at a studio to editing.
In its booth, Sony displayed an entire video making process from shooting at a studio to editing.
[Click to enlarge image]

Sony Corp prototyped a system that enables to transmit 4k (3,840 x 2,160-pixel) video in real time via a satellite connection.

The company demonstrated the transmission of 4k video at IBC 2012, which runs from Sept 6 to 11, 2012, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This is the first time that such a transmission has been demonstrated in public.

Sony realized the system in collaboration with SES S.A., a Luxembourg-based major satellite distribution firm. From a base of SES in Luxembourg, an edited 4k video content was transmitted in the "DVB-S2" format via a satellite. With the H.264 technology, the 4k video was compressed to 50Mbps.

"We managed to realize a system that can drastically compress original 4k signals without lowering the quality of 4k video," Sony said.

Sony decoded the signals with a receiver set up at the IBC and displayed the video on the company's 84-inch 4k LCD TV. The TV was installed near the reception desk of the company's booth, drawing visitors' attention.

At the IBC, Sony highlighted its ability to offer an environment that enables to make 4k video. It showed how video can be created with its "F65" professional camcorder. And it announced that the format used for the F65, "SRMASTER (F65 RAW)," was employed for Autodesk Inc's products, which are widely used for movie making in Hollywood, etc.

"The F65, which can shoot 4k video, has been employed worldwide and used for making 30 or more major movies," Sony said, emphasizing that it will create environments to deliver 4k contents to households with the 4k TV announced at IFA 2012. "At movie theaters, Sony's systems are often used for showing movies. We also have 4k TVs. The rest is how to bring them to houses."

The real-time 4k video transmission system announced this time has a transmission rate of 50Mbps with the H.264 technology. But Sony aims to increase the compression rate to realize a transmission rate of 10M to 20Mbps. Also, for satellite connection, it plans to enable a two-channel transmission with one transponder.

Sony considers applying the "HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding)," which is one of the next-generation video compression technologies, as a coding technology. It aims to realize twice as high a compression rate as that of H.264 while keeping an eye on trends in the standardization of formats.