NexTV-F Tests 4k Satellite Broadcast

Jan 2, 2014
Tetsuo Nozawa, Nikkei Electronics
Video shown on a 4k display
Video shown on a 4k display
[Click to enlarge image]
The 4k camera used to take the video
The 4k camera used to take the video
[Click to enlarge image]

Next Generation Television & Broadcasting Promotion Forum (NexTV-F) showed a transmission test by using the method for 4k (3,840 x 2,160-pixel) video satellite broadcast scheduled to begin in mid-2014.

NexTV-F is still making improvements to encoding method, etc. And the test was shown to the press Dec 26, 2013, as an interim report.

"This is the world's first test in which 4k 60p video transmission is tested by simulating a real broadcast environment and testing broadcasting equipment from cameras to displays," NexTV-F said.

This time, NexTV-F tested a 4k 60fps progressive (60p) method that shows video with a color format of 4:2:0 on a 4k display by encoding it with HEVC in real time and using the "advanced narrowband transmission method" (a modulation/demodulation method based on 8PSK). The advanced narrowband transmission method is used by Sky Perfect JSAT Corp for communication satellite broadcast.

For the encoding with HEVC, NexTV-F used an FPGA for software encoding. But it simulated the transmission path of satellite broadcast by applying frequency conversion without using a satellite. The data transmission speed after modulation was 40.5Mbps (video data: 35Mbps).

"It can be received by a 45cm-diameter parabolic antenna at home," NexTV-F said.

Sky Perfect JSAT has already tested 4k video satellite broadcast three times. It also used 4k 60p video but employed a color format of 4:2:2, H.264 encoding method and 32APSK modulation/demodulation method. The data transmission rate was 120Mbps. And it was not possible to receive data without using a parabolic antenna whose diameter is larger than 1m.