The new R&S PKU amplifier from German technology group Rohde & Schwarz was used for the uplink signal transmission during the first broadcast of an 8K TV signal by Astra satellite operator SES.
Using the DVB-S2X standard, SES transmitted the 8K TV signal on a single 36 MHz transponder via its Astra 3B satellite at 23.5° East during the SES Industry Days in Luxembourg in May 2018.
The demo video with a resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels (8K) – four times higher than 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 additionally to learn about the requirements to be met for a fully IP-based broadcast infrastructure.
The Rohde & Schwarz R&S PKU amplifier was employed to send the HEVC-encoded signal to the satellite. The R&S PKU combines the strengths of solid-state amplifiers and the compactness and low weight of tube amplifiers, according to Rohde & Schwarz. 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.
“Even though 8K resolution is not yet commercially relevant, we have shown that our satellite network is able to deliver 8K content,” said Thomas Wrede, vice president, new technology & standards at SES Video. “We are proud to provide an insight into the future of television. Rohde & Schwarz has made a valuable contribution to this achievement.”