Italian public broadcaster RAI and Eutelsat team up for 4K Ultra HD trials
Stephan Jukic – March 09, 2016
The Italian public broadcaster RAI has joined together with European satellite operator Eutelsat on a major project to bring 4K ultra HD broadcasting into trial runs for consumer audiences. We have little in the way of details so far but the known facts show that RAI has bought the TV rights to eventually air 23 matches of the EURO 2016 football tournament during the summer in France, at least partly in 4K resolution it seems.
While not all of the matches will be in 4K resolution, some will apparently be aired through both digital terrestrial and digital satellite channels for audiences in Europe, with 4K ultra HD availability to at least some viewers with compatible reception equipment and compatible 4K TVs.
This 4K broadcast project is part of the Italian state broadcaster’s strategic plans for wider 4K broadcast adoption and for the transfer of its entire satellite output to HD and eventually 4K ultra HD much further down the road.
RAI currently operates five satellite TV channels in HD through the tivusat free-to-air DTH platform, which consists of Rai 1, Rai 2, Rai 3, Rai Sport 1 and Rai 4. The latter of these is also visible on the pay-TV DTH platform Sky Italia.
4K broadcast TV is still a deeply lagging aspect of the 4K ultra HD content landscape with few companies anywhere in the world seriously investing in the format for the time being. Instead, the IPTV and streaming/OTT services available today are those with the most visible consumer market leadership in 4K entertainment delivery to actual consumers around the world.
Nascent efforts by select broadcasters in North America, Europe and Asia most notably of all are developing but only slowly and experimentally due to concerns about insufficient demand in the face of high up-front 4K deliver infrastructure investment costs.
The effort by RAI marks another tentative and still experimental step from a broadcaster, which isn’t quite yet ready to deliver actual 4K entertainment through terrestrial broadcast channels.
Story by 4k.com