SES broadcasts first 8K TV images using Rohde & Schwarz satellite uplink amplifier

Leading satellite operator SES successfully broadcast an 8K television signal – four times bigger than 4K – for the first time in May 2018. The demo broadcast was supported by the new R&S PKU amplifier from Rohde & Schwarz.

SES 8K broadcast at SES Industry Days in May 2018
SES 8K broadcast at SES Industry Days in May 2018

Using the DVB-S2X standard, SES transmitted the 8K TV signal on a single 36 MHz transponder via its Astra 3B satellite. The demo video with a resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels (8K), which is four times higher than for a 4K signal, was encoded in HEVC and transmitted at a rate of 80 Mbit/s. The 8K content was broadcast with a frame rate of 60 frames per second and 10 bit colour depth. A native IP-formatted signal was used in addition to learn about the requirements to be met for a fully IP-based broadcast infrastructure.

The Rohde & Schwarz R&S PKU amplifier was used in the demo broadcast to send the HEVC encoded signal to the satellite. The R&S PKU combines the best of two worlds in a single device: the unbeatable strengths of solid-state amplifiers and the compactness and low weight of tube amplifiers. If individual transistors fail, for example, the amplifier continues operating at reduced power. It features adaptive linearization for improved signal quality, enabling network operators to transmit significantly more data using the same signal bandwidth – ideal for 8K transmission.

Posted by Chris Dickinson, technology journalist and editor of the Always On blog. July 5, 2018.