EBU to Conduct UHD HFR Tests During European Championships 2018

The European Broadcasting Union will use the upcoming European Championships 2018 to carry out tests using UHD High Frame Rates.

The organization will work with industry partners to shoot, process, record, and distribute live ultra high definition content, with high frame rate, high dynamic range, and next generation audio at the event which runs Aug. 2-12.

The trials involve the world’s first live distribution of UHD content with both HDR (HLG/BT.2100) and HFR (100 frames per second, 2160p100). Current state-of-the-art live broadcasts don’t exceed a field or frame rate of 50Hz in Europe, and HD interlaced (1080i25) is still the dominant broadcast emission format even though commercial encoders and TV sets manage up to 2160p50 resolution.

In Berlin, a 2160p100 HLG/BT.2020 production workflow will be set up in collaboration with EBU Members BBC, France Télévisions, IRT, RAI and ZDF, and a range of technology partners. The 2160p100 feed will be used to derive two additional 1080p100 and 1080p50 signals. These three feeds will then be encoded in HEVC and multiplexed for a live transmission via the Eurovision satellite network to RAI's experimental test bed in the Aosta Valley, Italy, and via the Eurovision Fibre infrastructure to the European Championships Broadcast Operations Centre (BOC) based at BBC Glasgow.

The technology providers working with the EBU and broadcasters include:

  • ATEME encoding and remixing technologies for the 1080p100 feed with all NGA flavours
  • Dolby immersive and object-based audio technology (AC4)
  • Ericsson contribution technology (HEVC, MPEG-H Audio) for 2160p50
  • EVS server for near real-time 2160p100 editing
  • Fraunhofer IIS immersive and object-based audio technology (MPEG-H Audio)
  • Jünger Audio 3D audio monitoring and authoring units (MPEG-H Audio)
  • KaiMedia encoding technology (HEVC, MPEG-H Audio) for 2160p50
  • Klang and Areitec 3D audio monitoring over headphones
  • LG prototype OLED TV sets capable of decoding the live UHD streams with HFR (2160p100Hz), HDR (HLG & PQ), and NGA (Dolby AC-4)
  • NTT encoding technology for the 2160p100 signal
  • b<>com scene-based production tools and Qualcomm compression technology (MPEG-H Audio)
  • Rohde & Schwarz servers for uncompressed recording
  • Schoeps and Areitec ORTF-3D microphone outdoor set
  • Sony XVS video switcher, PWS Live production server and storage solutions configured for a 2160p100 video production workflow and HDR acquisitions, plus one complete Sony UHD camera and 2160p50 picture monitoring
  • Solid State Logic System T S300-32 mixing console with 3D panning and Network I/O
  • TPC the Swiss broadcaster’s operational subsidiary, will supply two other complete cameras, and a fourth camera will be provided by AMP Visual.

The EBU said the trials will enable all participants to build their understanding of the state of the art in immersive sports content production and its strategic potential. Some clips may also become available for public dissemination and for technical and scientific testing purposes.

Jenny Priestley

Jenny has worked in the media throughout her career, joining TVBEurope as editor in 2017. She has also been an entertainment reporter, interviewing everyone from Kylie Minogue to Tom Hanks; as well as spending a number of years working in radio. She continues to appear on radio every week and occasionally pops up on TV.