Russia’s NTV-Plus Satcasts Olympic Opening Ceremonies in UHD

SOCHI, RUSSIA—Russian satellite pay-TV provider NTV-Plus delivered a live satellite broadcast of the 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in ultra high-definition, a first for the country.

Following an extensive period of testing throughout 2013, NTV-Plus collaborated with semiconductor company Broadcom and Elemental, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of video processing technology, to design and deploy an end-to-end 4K HEVC workflow leveraging Broadcom-enabled real-time decoders, Elemental Live video encoders, NTV-Plus satellite uplink and signal receiving systems and Sony PMW-F55 Cine Alta 4K Digital Cinema cameras for playback on Panasonic 65-inch 4K TVs. The special broadcast, according to Broadcom, is the first to provide real-time Ultra HDTV via a satellite link on a single set-top box chip.

"Elemental is committed to supporting real-time HEVC today and Ultra HD service launches in the months and years to come,” said Keith Wymbs, CMO for Elemental Technologies. “We are proud to support NTV-Plus and to work with Broadcom in supporting the 2014 Sochi Games and enabling this historic 4K HEVC satellite transmission.”

“NTV-Plus creates high quality television content accessible throughout the country, and we are proud to bring the excitement of this January’s events in Sochi,” said Oleg Kolesnikov, CTO of NTV-Plus. “Building on our broad sport programming and satellite offerings, broadcasting the Winter Olympics in 4K resolution shows what can be accomplished when operators and silicon vendors work together to deliver Ultra HD content.”

“Our collaboration with NTV-Plus and Elemental to bring live Ultra HD (4K) broadcast of significant global sporting events to viewers validates the growing market for Ultra HD in 2014 and beyond,” said Rich Nelson, Broadcom senior vice president of marketing, Broadband Communications Group in Irvine, Calf. “This is a testament to how Broadcom’s full portfolio of innovative silicon is delivering the highest performance picture quality and ultimate viewing experience to consumers around the world.”

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.