Eutelsat debuts first-ever 4K/Ultra HD channel in Europe

 Eutelsat Communications has announced the launch of a dedicated Ultra HD channel. Transmission began on January 8th, and is expected to consist of mostly demonstration-based programming.

This news comes on the heels of CES 2013, where Ultra HDTVs were a major fixture, despite lacking the requisite pool of content to affect large-scale commercialization. Today’s news represents a step in that direction – albeit a small one – and is yet another tidbit of information to whet the appetite of those salivating over Ultra HD’s potential.

According to press materials, the channel will “benefit all actors in the broadcasting chain who want to acquire expertise in 4K.” The new offering almost sounds like a workshop, a test-run of sorts where aspiring Ultra HD players can work the kinks out.

As far as method of delivery goes, the new channel will be operated in progressive mode at 50 FPS, encoded in MPEG-4, and transmitted at 40Mbit/s in four Quad HD streams. That represents a significant step up in bandwidth as compared to HD broadcasts.

Is this HUGE news? No. But it is further confirmation that Ultra HD is lurching away from trade-show curiosity and towards practical implementation.

Get our Top Stories delivered to your inbox: