BT Media and Broadcast delivered what it claimed as the first international live multi-camera production of a sports event captured in 4K/UHD on Sunday.
The test transmission of the Aviva Premier League rugby match between Saracens and Gloucester was shown live on the Sony, Ericsson and Intelsat stands at IBC.
Partners included Sony, Ericsson, Intelsat, Newtec and BT Sport – which owned rights to the event.
While stressing that BT Media and Broadcast operates separately from the telco’s payTV wing BT Sport (“BT Sport is a client of ours just in the way Sky is”), VP global sales and marketing for BT Media and Broadcast, Mark Wilson-Dunn said, “If we can keep this partnership together, including the consumer arm of certain organisations, then we can bring a 4K experience to market very quickly.”
BT transmitted the quad 4K signal from Allianz Park, London, over the BT Global Media Network (GMN) which supports high-bandwidth live TV transmissions. The GMN has been designed to be a live linear video broadcast IP network, so it can handle the increased demands of 4K TV, according to Wilson-Dunn (pictured).
The event was produced out of Telegenic’s 4K-outfitted OB truck using three Sony cameras. The signal was fed onto BT’s fibre point at Saracen’s into BT Tower, then to Intelsat for satellite delivery to IBC.
“We’ve been looking at the capabilities of our MPLS [Multi Protocol Label Switching] network for a while. One of the notable things BT Media and Broadcast has done over the years is that we did the first live international HD transmission in 1996 between the UK and Japan (NHK), and provided transmission for the first 3D live sports broadcast with Sky (Manchester United v Arsenal in 2007),” said Wilson-Dunn.
“We’re interested in pushing boundaries on our network and the next innovation in consumer viewing is Ultra HD. We were having conversations with our supply chain partners, notably Ericsson and Telegenic, and saw how compatible we all were to working on a live 4K experience.”
By Adrian Pennington