4K Coverage of 2014 World Cup Final Matches Planned

SÃO PAULO--This year’s FIFA World Cup marks the introduction of ultra high-definition coverage of a portion of the live action, with Brazilian satellite and cable provider Globosat set to transmit the final three matches in 4K. The special UHD broadcasts will be delivered through Globosat’s SporTV channel.

Coverage of these World Cup concluding events in ultra high-definition is actually a three-pronged initiative involving Globosat, Broadcom Corp. and Elemental Technologies. Not only will it be delivered at four times the resolution of ordinary HDTV, but 60 fps progressive scanning will be used to ensure fluid and life-like action on the field and 10-bit "deep color" will also provide deeper, richer and more natural images. Elemental will be providing HEVC encoding equipment for the transmissions and Broadcom will supply the necessary decoding technologies. Globosat is in charge of the uplinking and downlinking operations for distribution of the UHD coverage.

"Globosat leads the Brazilian pay-TV segment with high quality programming, including live action sporting events, and we are excited to deliver a live Ultra HD broadcast of the World Cup games," said Globosat’s chief technology officer, Roberto Primo. "Broadcasting the World Cup in 4K resolution is an important part of our effort to contribute to the evolution of the TV viewing experience in Brazil. Partnering with pay-TV operators that share this goal also allows us to deliver Ultra HD to an even wider viewer audience in the future."

Globosat, Elemental and Broadcom have developed and deployed an end-to-end 4K HEVC workflow for these special telecasts. Plans are in place to use 4K digital cinema cameras for ultra high-definition pickup of the three matches.

"Our collaboration with Globosat and Elemental to bring a live Ultra HD broadcast of the World Cup to viewers validates the demand for Ultra HD in 2014 and beyond," said Rich Nelson, Broadcom Communications Group’s senior vice president of marketing.

"We are proud to support Globosat and to work with Broadcom in supporting the World Cup with a whole new level of sports fan experiences, thanks to this historic 4K HEVC satellite transmission," said Keith Wymbs, chief marketing officer at Elemental Technologies. "Globosat is setting the pace with 4k and its innovative OTT and TV Everywhere services."

James E. O’Neal has more than 50 years of experience in the broadcast arena, serving for nearly 37 years as a television broadcast engineer and, following his retirement from that field in 2005, moving into journalism as technology editor for TV Technology for almost the next decade. He continues to provide content for this publication, as well as sister publication Radio World, and others.  He authored the chapter on HF shortwave radio for the 11th Edition of the NAB Engineering Handbook, and serves as editor-in-chief of the IEEE’s Broadcast Technology publication, and as associate editor of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. He is a SMPTE Life Fellow, and a Life Member of the IEEE and the SBE.