Volvo Ocean Race Tests UHD TV Coverage

LORIENT, FRANCE – During the French leg of the annual Volvo Ocean Race a group of companies, brought together by Images & Réseaux, combined to test the ability to televise the race coverage in ultra high-definition high dynamic range video and 3D audio. The companies that took part in this test were Envivio, Images & Réseaux, Orange, SeaEvents, TDF, Technicolor and Thomson Video Networks.

Boats close to the Ile de Sein, NW Brittany, France (photo credit: Rick Tomlinson)

Available in the race village in Lorient, France, the UHD HDR broadcast was done at 50 fps and relied on UHD, HEVC and DVB-T2 technology to optimize image quality and throughput on a complete chain of capture. UHD cameras and Ambisonic microphones were used to stream in standard UHD HRD high frame rate along with spatial sound.

SeaEvents shot the film with the support of Orange Labs. The footage included binaural sound for immersive 3D rendering, and HDR, which improves video quality by displaying a greater number of light intensity levels in one image. Shooting with a high frame rate of 50 fps made fast camera movements appear more fluid.

Technicolor performed color calibration in HDR mode, then applied a specific treatment to improve encoding performance and ensure compatibility with all content screens. The images were then compressed with HEVC encoders from Envivio and Thomason Video Networks before being multiplexed with 3D sound through a software binauralization at Orange Labs. Lastly, the film was transported over broadcast networks through HDR 4K set-top boxes from Technicolor.