German commercial broadcast group ProSiebenSat.1 will launch its Ultra HD (UHD) service on July 22, 2018 with a special edition of science programme Galileo.
Galileo Spezial will be transmitted at 19.05 CET in UHD/4K in HDR format for DTH satellite households free-to-air via Astra (19.2° East) on showcase channel UHD1 by HD+, Nicole Agudo Berbel, Chief Distribution Officer & Executive Vice President Digital Publishing, told Broadband TV News.
The UHD version of Galileo Spezial – focussing on different types of holidays – will be broadcast in parallel to its regular SD and HD distribution on the ProSieben channel. It will also be offered on ProSieben’s own digital platforms including the website, app and smart TVs (HbbTV).
The kabel eins format Rosins Restaurants will also air in UHD quality, according to Agudo Berbel.
Agudo Berbel announced another highlight to be shown in UHD: The Sat.1 original movie Amokspiel based on the novel of the same name by Sebastian Fitzek. The thriller featuring actors such as Franziska Weisz, Eko Fresh, Johann von Bülow and Christian Tramitz is directed by Oliver Schmitz and produced in UHD by TV60Film. The film shootings began on June 19, 2018 in Berlin and are scheduled to run until July 18.
The Sat.1 original movie Es bleibt in der Familie featuring Andrea Sawatzki will also be produced and shown in UHD.
There is strong interest in the market in ProSiebenSat.1’s UHD programmes, said Agudo Berbel (pictured), with many platform operators asking for distribution possibilities, but no decision has been made yet regarding carriage by third parties beyond broadcasting on UHD1 and ProSiebenSat.1’s own digital platforms for on-demand reception of the content in UHD. The demand for catch-up access to original content of ProSiebenSat.1 via mobile, online or HbbTV is increasing steadily, Agudo Berbel said.
ProSiebenSat.1’s first UHD move was in August 2017 with kabel eins documentary series Abenteuer Leben made available to smart TV owners in the new format through the red button (HbbTV). After the broadcast, the programming remained accessible on-demand on the channel’s catch-up service.
Competing broadcaster RTL launched a linear UHD test channel on April 28, 2018. The opening event was the live broadcast of the Formula 1 race from Baku in Azerbaijan. RTL UHD will show all Formula 1 races and qualifying rounds of the current season live. On May 5, the test channel screened the final of talent show Deutschland sucht den Superstar (DSDS) live in UHD.
[Update] November 23, 2018: The Sat.1 original movie Amokspiel will be shown on November 27, 2018 at 20.15 CET in UHD quality on UHD1 by HD+ in parallel to the SD and HD broadcast on the regular Sat.1 channel. This will be followed by two episodes of Rosins Restaurants (kabel eins) on December 6 and 13 at 20.15 CET and the Sat.1 original movie Es bleibt in der Familie on December 18 at 20.15 CET.