EBU kisses goodbye to standard definition for major sports

July 16, 2012

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will no longer carry major sporting events in SD (Standard Definition) after the London Paralympic Games, following the main events’ end in September. The EBU has prepared for this by investing long term in its Eurovision satellite and fiber network, ensuring that more than 70 of its members can access all 12 of its HD multilateral signals.

As part of the network upgrade, the EBU gave these Members up to eight MPEG 4 decoders each, to optimize transmission quality for European’s public service media.

"This is a turning point for Eurovision, and the beginning of the end of standard definition,” said Graham Warren, director of Eurovision, the EBU’s global transmission network. “Until now, we have always provided parallel SD and HD signals, but this is the first big event where we have focused all our energy on HD alone."

Occupying a square kilometer of the International Broadcasting Centre, in London, the EBU will run 12 simultaneous multilateral transmissions and three unilateral feeds for up to 13 hours a day for the duration of both the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games.

Receive regular news and technology updates. Sign up for our free newsletter here.