Madrid, Mexico City, Copenhagen July 12th, 2021

SIVAC-ONE: MAIN UHD 4K ENCODING SOLUTION ON THE ONGOING BROADCASTS BY UHD SPAIN

In the current broadcasts of UHD Spain in HDR/SDR, the Sivac-one encoders are playing the main role in the HEVC 4K UHD encoding of the signals that are being transmitted DTT, satellite, streaming and HbbTV.


For several weeks, a large part of the Spanish population can enjoy last generation UHD-4K audiovisual content thanks to the selfless contribution of the member companies of the UHD-Spain association.

UHD SPAIN is a non-profit association, born with 30 members and with the aim of bringing together all companies in the Spanish 4K HDR audiovisual industry to work together in the improvement and consolidation of the establishment of the Ultra High Definition (UHD) in Spain.

The Ultra High Definition (UHD) brings together a series of improvements in the features and new technologies of TV signals. These allow to improve the user experience when sitting in front of a TV, computer, Tablet or mobile to watch audiovisual content. UHD does not just mean “more pixels”, but also “better pixels and sound”.
These new benefits include the following:
  • Higher resolution. UHD allows you to quadruple the number of pixels of each image (3840px2160l) that is presented with respect to HD (1920px1080i). The high pixel density allows having a higher definition, a greater detail and greater angle of view, allowing the user to use larger devices maintaining the perceived quality at a shorter distance, with greater depth and better immersion in the content.
  • Higher refresh rate (HFR-High Frame Rate). UHD doubles the number of images presented to the user every second versus HD. The quality improvement is easily appreciable to the naked eye of the user, especially in content with high rate of movement/action, reducing possible flickering. All this has an impact on a better perception of the content. Indirectly it also reduces the viewer´s accumulated since it is not necessary to make the temporary integration of the signals as on the interlaced HD signals.
  • Higher Brightness-Contrast (HBR- High Brigtness Ratio). UHD allows to improve the contrast ratio between the lightest and darkest areas of the image showing a greater detail and getting even closer to the capacity of the human eye. In addition, techniques are also used to adjust the contrast according to each sequence and/or image.
  • More colors (WCG- Wide Color Gamut). UHD allows the display of almost 75% of the colors available in nature compared to 36% on HD. This provides a notable realism sensation to the user.
  • Best Sound (NGA- Next Generation Audio). TV is not only video or images, but also audio, and it has been shown to be a very important component. That is why in UHD are implemented new audio technologies with multichannel systems (and by objects) that provide a bigger immersion of the viewer in the content.
All these features and technologies can be used together or individually to provide a better user experience by presenting the content with more realism, immersion, and better quality, which are no others than the goals of the UHD.
 
To demonstrate the possibilities of UHD signals, the UHD Spain association has assembled the necessary complete chain from the studio to the user. For this purpose, 2 UHD channels are broadcasted on two possible formats of the UHD: one on HDR (High Dynamic Range) and another on SDR (Standard Dynamic Range), so that is the viewer who can experience by himself the differences between the two formats.

Illustration 1- Set Up UHD reception Spain during the inauguration of the broadcasts in the facilities of the RTVE Institute: https://www.rtve.es/rtve/20210614/evento-uhd-spain/2103401.shtml

UHD Spain is broadcasting more than 9 hours of different content provided by members of the association (Aragon TV, Medina Media, La Liga, RTVA, RTVE, TV3, among others). The emission is simultaneous:
  • By satellite with DVB-S2 technology, through Hispasat 30-W.
  • By DTT with DVB-T2 technology, in more than 45 DVB-T2 transmitters thanks to the networks of Cellnex, Axion and Telecom CLM.
  • By internet streaming: Streaming UHD – UHD SPAIN
  • By HbbTV.  (Televisión hibrida).

Viewers can enjoy through the channel UHD Spain images ceded by La Liga, the film El Abuelo by RTVE, or documentaries of the Carnival of Cádiz, the Semana Santa de Sevilla and El Rocío, among others.

Different screenshots of the UHD Spain broadcast – Content provided by the different content managers and members of UHD Spain

The role of SAPEC in UHD Spain Broadcasts

The current broadcasts are accessible in open through a DTT test channel that Cellnex, Axon and Telecom CM broadcasts in the main Spanish cities.
Sapec Sivac-one encoders are responsible for compressing each of the UHD signals so that they can be emitted by the different media: DTT, Satellite, Internet.
UHD signals generate more than 8 times the information (12Gbps) that is generated in HD (1.5Gbps). All that information must be transmitted by channels that have limited capacities, and equivalent to those currently used on HD. The solution has been to use the HEVC video compression standard (ITU-H265). By running this standard on the sivac-one platform by SAPEC, it has been possible to compress the two UHD signals and transmit them over a DTT channle (8 MHz).

Figure 3 – Sivac-one as the main coding solution in the way of the UHD Spain signal

For this purpose, two Sivac-one Media Processor modules (SMP1000) have been installed on a 1RU chassis. These modules. are responsible for receiving each of the UHD signals through 4x3G-SDI, perform the compression with HEVC technology in Main10 profile, to deliver two TS over IP. The SMP1000 performs this function with very low latencies (SMP allows, depending on the application, latencies lower than 120ms) and a consumption lower than 25W per module, which defines it as a compact, lightweight and ideal solution for UHD HEVC contributions.

Figure 4 – Siva-one Frame with capacity for up to 3 SMP modules. 
https://sapec.es/sivac-one/

The IP streams are delivered by Sivac-one to each of the operators, to be distributed to Spanish televisions (from 45 DTT broadcast points) in addition to the regions covered by Hispasat 30-W and live streaming over the Internet.
SAPEC, in addition to providing the necessary equipment for the encoding and compression of this UHD content, has coordinated implementation tasks of these broadcasts. For this reason, SAPEC thanks all the participants for their dedication, effort, and selfless collaboration to make these tests a reality for the benefit of the UHD in Spain.
“In these transmissions we are using the latest UHD HEVC encoders developed by Sapec, demonstrating their quality, robustness and compatibility with all receivers.
For Sapec it has been the practical culmination of all the tests that have been carried out around the UHD, with live broadcasts, using all the improvements offered by the UHD as the highest resolution, high dynamic range (HDR) and higher extended color range (WCG)” – Adds Juan José Anaya, CTO at SAPEC.
SAPEC has prepared in Madrid Headquarters a reception set up where any professional of the industry can enjoy and visualize the reception of these channels, by satellite, DTT, Hbbtv or streaming. Visits will be limited and must be arranged with a Sapec representative.

Figure 5- Detail of Set Up Sapec Madrid Offices for satellite reception / DTT / Hbbtv / streaming

SAPEC and UHD

Sapec has been working and collaborating with national and international companies in UHD since 2013 where it participated with RTVE, Cellnex, Hispasat and the UPM in the first demonstrations of UHD transmissions over DTT and satellite. These first tests and broadcasts of UHD were carried out during international events such as the Mobile World Congress or the DVB World, among others.
Sapec also participated in the project europeo of R&D&i “UHD for you” (UHD4U), in collaboration by more than 15 European companies and funded by the Eureka/Catrene Program.
More recently, and prior to the foundation of UHD Spain, SAPEC was one of the entities that collaborated in the pilot emission of a UHD 8K signal over DVB-T2 in December 2020 (first worldwide). More info: https://sapec.es/sapec-cooperates-with-rtve-to-8k/
The SAPEC R&D Team, elaborated a technical article about this experience called “Transmission techniques for UHD 8K video”. Which is publicly accessible on the SAPEC´s website: https://sapec.es/technical-articles/

SAPEC UHD Solutions

During all these years, SAPEC has not stopped developing and bringing to the market UHD compression solutions for professional broadcast environments.
In addition to the Sivac-one solution used on the UHD SPAIN broadcasts, SAPEC has other solutions available for different UHD applications.

Figure 6- Different Sapec UHD Solutions

UHD Avantos decoder: Launched on the market in 2016 and used to decode the signals of Spanish football to European operators. https://sapec.es/overon-relies-on-sapec-uhd4k-decoders/

Receiver/IR GUR5002: A very versatile receiver/decoder whose success is indisputable to have SAPEC installed and in operation more than 500 units. https://sapec.es/april-26th-2021sapec-completes-the-supply-of-more-than-300-irds-for-the-reception-of-spanish-content-along-the-american-continent/

Sivac-one COMPACT: The last of the Sivac-one family and recently launched on the market. A portable and versatile solution for 4K UHD encoding. https://sapec.es/new-sivac-one-compact/

In addition, SAPEC is an official distributor in Spain and Mexico of recognized brands in the sector that also offer state-of-the-art UHD solutions:

BBright: French company manufacturer of professional solutions 4K, Ultra HD, Full-HD / 1080p, HEVC, HDR, NGA, for live ingest, Baseband Playout, Compressed Playout / based on Transport stream (TS), Monitoring decoders and quality control systems. https://www.bbright.com

Nevion: IP-based solutions and virtualization to help Broadcasters orchestratetheir remote installations andproductions in IP environments. The best-known solutions are Virutoso and VideoIpath, but Nevion has a wide range of solutions for processing, multiplexing, optical transport, compression, and signal monitoring. https://nevion.com

Sencore: Presents a wide range of products focused on signal reception (IRDs, decoders, transcoders…) and monitoring. With latest generation solutions for UHD content. https://www.sencore.com/

What is next?

As for the activities of UHD Spain, the different working groups (capture, post-production, encoding, broadcast and reception) are promoting numerous technical tests in relation to HDR (High Dynamic Range), WCG (Wide Color Range) NGA (Next Generation Audio), and the necessary transmission parameters. The conclusions of these initiatives will be reflected in the white paper that the association will publish in November, when the celebration of the 4K HDR Summit (15-19 November 2021).
As for the development of new SAPEC solutions: Sapec is developing two new UHD 4K decoding solutions that will be available shortly. To stay aware of the launch:
Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sapec/ 
or in the news section of our website: https://sapec.es/ultimas_noticias/
About UHD Spain

UHD SPAIN is a non-profit association, born with 30 members and with the aim of bringing together all companies in the Spanish 4K HDR audiovisual industry to work together in the improvement and consolidation of the establishment of the Ultra High Definition (UHD) in Spain.

UHD Spain was founded by 30 partners: ADM, AMETIC, Ateme, Atresmedia, Axión, Canon, Cellnex, Dolby, EGATEL, FECOTEL, FENITEL, Fraunhofer, Gsertel, Henneo, Hispasat, Hurí, Lavinia, Mediapro, Medina Media, Rohde & Schwarz, RTVE, SAPEC, Sequoia, Tedial, Telecom CLM, Televés, Tredess, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Uteca and Vestel.

About SAPEC SAPEC is a technology company headquartered in Spain with commercial offices in Denmark and Mexico, which designs, develops, and manufactures reliable video contribution and distribution solutions for highly demanding Broadcast & Telecom environments. www.sapec.es sales@sapec.es
The SAPEC Sales Team sales@sapec.es Tel: +34917238910
SAPEC, Your Reliable Video Transport Solutions

Copyright © 2021 Todos los derechos reservados / All rights reserved. SAPEC - Rufino González, 15. 28037 Madrid. T. +34 91 728 39 10 - E-Mail: sapec@sapec.es

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