Eutelsat has announced the first Ultra HD channel, which is now live in Europe. The channel is delivered by satellite. It has a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels and an extreme bitrate of 40 Mb per second.
Ultra HD demo channel in Europe
The channel has been live since January 8th, 2013 and should be considered a demo channel that shows the virtues of Ultra HD.
Images are broadcast in impressive 3840x2160 pixels at 50 pictures per second similar to how The Hobbit was recorded. Eutelsat uses MPEG4 (H.264) compression, which lets Eutelsat reach a bitrate of 40 Mb/s. For comparison, a typical 720 HD channel uses just above 10 Mb/s.
The first Ultra HD channel will feed the first Ultra HD TVs
The high bitrate is not an indication of what we should expect from Ultra HD TV content in a few years from now, as the Ultra HD standard will most likely move to H.265 compression that is believed to halve the data requirement, which means that around 20-30 Mb/s is required.
The Ultra HD channel is reachable through 10 degrees East via satellite Eutelsat 10A.