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Sky Deutschland streams live football in UHD

Sky Deutschland claims to have done a world first by broadcasting a football match live over satellite in Ultra HD with 50 frames per second – encoded with the new HEVC standard.

Announcing the milestone yesterday, Sky said that it made the UHD broadcast on April 26 for the Bundesliga football match between Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen, which saw Bayern win by five goals to two.

Sky said that a total of six 4K cameras were combined with another four HD cameras that were upconverted to Ultra HD in the broadcast van, delivering a resolution of 2160p50 on several Ultra HD televisions in Sky’s headquarters in Unterföhring.

“By successfully broadcasting a complete Bundesliga match live in what was a true end-to-end test of the full Ultra HD production chain, it is clear that the day is getting closer when it will be possible to bring a top quality Ultra HD live sport production into the living rooms of consumers. There are still a few things to take care of, but I am very confident that we as the innovation leader, along with our partners, are on a very good path to revolutionising the viewing experience,” said Sky Deutschland CEO Brian Sullivan.

The latest development comes after Sky said that it made its first Ultra HD test for a football match between FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in December 2012.

Last month’s live satellite UHD trial was supported by the Deutsche Fussball Liga and Sportcast and was carried out in collaboration with technology partners: Topvision for sport production; MTI Teleport München for contribution link; SES Platform Services for playout center services; Fraunhofer HHI/Rohde & Schwarz for HEVC encoding in the first half; Elemental for HEVC encoding in the second half; SES Astra for uplink; Technicolor, which provided the UHD HEVC receiver; ViXS for the UHD chipset; and Samsung for UHD displays.