The UHD platform, based on DVB-S2 and HEVC solutions, will initially use a C-band transponder on AsiaSat 4 to deliver from two to five full-time UHD channels.
Transmissions will be free-to-air, and available for reception by terrestrial TV stations, pay TV platforms and home viewers across Asia that possess appropriate decoding equipment and a C-band antenna as small as 2.4 meters.
UHD is gaining momentum in Asia at least as far as availability and affordability of UHD-compatible TV sets. However, the rest of the UHD ecosystem has been slow to keep up, due to a lack of UHD content, suitable consumer receivers, and the need for satellite players to upgrade ground equipment to support it.
AsiaSat president and CEO William Wade said that AsiaSat plans to use the UHD content delivery platform to work with content and technology partners to “make the delivery economics work for UHD broadcasting in this part of the world,” Wade said.
Wade added that UHD adoption will continue to be driven by increasing demand for improved picture quality for sports and movies, especially upcoming major sports events such as the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
AsiaSat has already established a UHD Research Laboratory at its Tai Po Earth Station in Hong Kong. The initiative is aimed at promoting and incubating the reception of UHD content under the AsiaSat footprint.