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Megahertz: BT links up for 4K

The first 4K Ultra HD truck in the UK, and probably Europe, has been built for BT TVOB by Megahertz. The truck, on show at IBC, has been used to cover numerous HD productions including Premier League football, rugby and cricket, as well as running 4K UHD trials.
It will take part in the upcoming Sky Sports 4K trials at the Ryder Cup in Scotland, where it will deliver the output direct to Sky in West London and to BT Tower for BT’s internal monitoring.

Besides UHD and 4K, it can also deliver HD and SD, “so it’s a very, very capable truck. It can do two satellite uplinks in HD simultaneously, while outputting UHD via fibre,” said Neil Huggins, head of Occasional Use Services, BT Media and Broadcast.

“We wanted to make the truck future proof. We want our infrastructure to be at the cutting edge. Our truck can do it, and our fibre network can do it,” he added.

It is fitted with NTT 4K encoders and decoders, as well as a Sony 4K monitor, 4K Evertz multiviewer and Phabrix test and measurement equipment. “Apart from that, the main difference between it and the [four] other hybrid trucks is mostly configuration, because the UHD signal is comprised of four 3G HD signals, and the way this truck is done it is in quadrants,” one for each quarter of the picture, explained Megahertz CTO Steve Burgess.

The 96-port Snell router is configured so that groups of four sources and destinations are locked together. “Keeping them together and timed is the key, so you don’t see the joins when they are put back together,” he added. With all the equipment and a highly redundant infrastructure, the truck cost about £500,000.