On November 23 and 24 at the 2016 European Nanoelectronic Forum, the UHD4U project was awarded the “2016 Catrene Innovation Award”. The award recognizes the developments and innovations achieved by the project, in which SAPEC played a crucial role from its very inception.
The UHD4U (Ultra High Definition for You) Project began in 2013, drawing together various European companies from France, Belgium, Turkey and Spain with the aim of defining, testing and promoting solutions for the rapid introduction of UHD, working primarily on the signal path, and studying the value chain of Ultra High Definition (UHD).
The consortium of companies, which included SAPEC, collaborated for three years on the project, each contributing knowledge which would define the technology model allowing the UHD signal to reach the end client. SAPEC led one of the most important working groups (Group 2), focusing their efforts on the transmission chain: from video and audio capture, through to the different stages of processing and compression (for Contribution and Distribution Links), and including satellite, terrestrial and IP signal transmission.
SAPEC played a lead role in the Spanish consortium, which included RTVE, Hispasat, and the Image Processing Group (Spanish: Grupo de Tratamiento de Imágenes) from the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
Right from its initial stages the Project caused a sensation among the various members of the project evaluation team, and in November 2013 it was awarded First Prize in the exhibition held in Barcelona.
In regards to the development, SAPEC’s responsibilities were centered around the Contribution link for the UHD signals: The contribution is one of the first stages in UHD signal conveyance and has specific requirements for maintaining image quality throughout the rest of the chain. SAPEC developed and implemented the coding and decoding of a UHD signal at 50fps, using HVEC 4:2:2 profile at 10 bits to achieve high levels of video quality with low delay time.
In addition to the R&D activities themselves, the European projects are also involved in the spreading of new technologies. In this regard, SAPEC has participated actively in all areas associated with the promotion of HEVC compression technologies and UHD video formats. Among these activities carried out in recent years were the first broadcasts of UHD in the world, via satellite and TDT, demonstrations of the advantages of HEVC over MPEG4/AVC for UHD, presentations of papers to international conferences such as SMPTE, collaborations with DVB, EBU and other international organizations.
The Project is sometimes given local level support by the administrative authorities of each country. In the case of Spain, SAPEC presented this project within the AEESD-2013 Program of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism program, classified under file number TSI-100101-2013-125.