2018 FIFA World Cup: Red Bee Media provides Dutch broadcasters with UHD coverage

During the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Red Bee Media is providing Dutch National Broadcasters NPO and NOS with full UHD footage of all matches. The broadcasts will also include images in HDR for an even more vivid viewing experience.

In addition, Red Bee Media is distributing the UHD specific channel NPO 1 UHD through multiple distribution networks via satellite, fiber, cable and IPTV. It combines the native UHD footage with upconverted content, creating a seamless UHD experience of the World Cup. As a part of R&D, the signal is also sent via the Red Bee Media OTT platform for live transcoding during the World Cup.

The Netherlands is one out of fifteen countries in the world where viewers of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will be able to see all matches in UHD resolution enriched with HDR.

Josbert van Rooijen, managing director at Red Bee Media Netherlands, said: “We are at the beginning of the UHD and HDR revolution and it is an exciting opportunity to be able to work with the latest technology in relation to one of the biggest live television events in the world. By enriching the native UHD footage with live Dutch commentary and upconverted HD content, we are ensuring a seamless viewer experience and a world class sports broadcast for Dutch viewers. This is made possible with our state of the art facilities and a great collaboration with NPO and NOS.”

The UHD signal from Russia is received in the Red Bee Media facility in Hilversum, Netherlands, where it is decoded and distributed to the viewers of NPO 1 UHD, through the Red Bee Media Channel Store. The Channel Store includes over 10 000 channels from over 100 suppliers from around the globe and can connect viewers with linear content anywhere in the world.

“The Red Bee Media Channel Store is a global nexus for providing the world with enriched audio and video content. We are proud to say that we can connect any content provider with any audience all over the world, no matter the format,” said Kristian Langbridge, head of distribution & transformation at Red Bee Media.

In addition to the cooperation with NPO and NOS, Red Bee Media is taking the opportunity to further explore the possibilities with UHD and HDR content. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup the company is sending the native UHD signals through their OTT platform as a part of R&D to test UHD transcoding and packaging – ensuring that the Red Bee Media OTT platform is fully UHD and HDR ready.

Potentially hundreds of thousands of Dutch viewers will be able to view the FIFA World Cup in UHD with HDR. To do so they will have to have a UHD and HDR ready television set and access to NPO 1 UHD through the operator networks of KPN, Jonaz, Trined, Plinq and M7.

‘With the experience of launching Europe’s first UHDTV channel for BT Sports in 2015, we now continue to evolve and develop our competence in the field and we are proud to be a part of delivering a world class sporting events in the best possible image quality,” said Dave Travis, chief service portfolio officer – video services at Red Bee Media.

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