Pay-TV platform nc+ launched Poland’s first 4K TV sports service in November 2017, using a range of 4K signal processing and production tools from broadcast infrastructure specialist Axon Digital Design.
The successful roll-out of the service – which kicked off with the live broadcast of the UEFA Champions League football match between Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur - was the result of 12 months of research and technical evaluation by nc+ working closely with local systems integrator BCP Ltd.
The new infrastructure, designed and built by the nc+ Technology Team and supported by BCP Ltd, manages the ingest of four satellite feeds and employs four Axon’s Synapse U4T240 Ultra HD 4-wire production toolboxes with LUT based color space and high dynamic range (HDR) conversion. These tool boxes (two main and two backup) ease the challenges of a 4-wire production setup by carrying Vanc and Hanc data such as time-code and embedded audio and, critically for nc+, provide encoding and decoding of Dolby© E. The workflow also features Axon’s Cerebrum monitoring and control platform, which seamlessly integrates with and controls 3rd party technology through a customizable and easy-to-use graphical user interface.
“Axon’s Synapse 4K tools enable nc+ to intelligently manage embedding and line routing. Their processing and control solutions offer reliability and easy integration, which has really helped simplify the workflow,” said Jarosaw Janowski nc+ Technology Team leader.
Commenting on the project, Zbigniew Hryniewicz, Managing Director of BCP said “Transitioning to an Ultra HD workflow in such a short time period was challenging but we’ve been impressed by how fast and vigilant Axon’s technical team has been in providing support at each step of the project.”
In addition to live sports including Premiership football, nc+ subscribers are now able to watch on-demand movies and internet-delivered services in 4K, exclusively on 4K UltraBOX+ STBs.
“As a broadcaster, we have always been at the forefront of delivering the best viewer experience to Polish audiences and we are showing our commitment to the 4K standard,” says Olgierd Dorn nc+ Technical Director. “In 2006 we introduced HD services into the Polish market and are now the first to offer subscribers live sports coverage and much more in Ultra HD. Axon’s technology will enable us to future-proof our investment and deliver our vision.”