Elemental Technologies hails world’s first real-time 4K HEVC transmission
By: David Davies
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 7:28 am

Elemental Technologies successfully supported the world’s first real-time 4K Ultra HD high-efficiency video coding (H.265 / HEVC) transmission Sunday when it streamed the Osaka Marathon. K-Opticom Corporation used Elemental Live to deliver live coverage of the eight-plus-hour race.

October 29 saw an announcement from Elemental Technologies that it had successfully supported the world’s first real-time 4K Ultra HD high-efficiency video coding (H.265 / HEVC) transmission when it streamed the Osaka Marathon last Sunday (October 27). K-Opticom Corporation, a comprehensive telecommunications operator, pioneered the workflow for the event and used Elemental video processing to deliver live coverage of the eight-plus-hour race.

Looking ahead, Elemental will showcase a real-time 4K HEVC demonstration in the CTCSP booth (Hall 8, Booth 8301) at Inter BEE in Tokyo, Japan, November 13-15.

“4K and Ultra High Definition will be very important, especially for live sports in the coming years, and HEVC compression will be critical to making 4K cost effective, reach multiscreen devices and not use too much distribution bandwidth,” says Tom Morrod, research director for consumer electronics and video technology at IHS. “With the upcoming World Cup and Winter Olympics, the industry needs successful real-time demonstrations of 4K video delivery and HEVC.”

A subsidiary of the Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc., K-Opticom (K-OPT) provides high-quality fiber optic services for the Kansai Region of Japan, including the prefectures of Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka, which together comprise the second most populated area in Japan after greater Tokyo. Also in support of the event, K-OPT used Elemental video processing to provide live streaming of marathon coverage to PCs, smart phones, tablets and other connected devices. K-OPT was a presenting sponsor of the race.

“This weekend, K-Opticom was proud to help make history with the world’s first real-time 4K HEVC transmission. The stream looked stunning with clear, reliable and very detailed output on Sony 4K televisions,” says Mr. Takao Fujino, president of K-Opticom. “Together, the advanced K-OPT optical fiber network and Elemental’s video processing proved real-time 4K HEVC transmission is now a reality.”

With four times the resolution of high-definition (HD), 4K content presents a challenge to traditional compression approaches such as MPEG-2 and advanced video coding (AVC / H.264) in terms of the bandwidth required to deliver a smooth and immersive viewing experience. Elemental’s award-winning HEVC implementation allows for delivery of 4K content at greatly reduced bitrates.

“Sunday was a winning day – for the athletes who participated in the event; for content programmers and distributors who now have access to a real-time 4K HEVC solution; for K-Opticom’s wideband network; and, for Elemental video processing,” says Keith Wymbs, VP of marketing for Elemental. “We are thrilled to have successfully enabled this unprecedented transmission.”

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