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SBS-Korea demonstrated the first live 4K broadcast signals

Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) has teamed up with LG Electronics to demonstrate the first live over-the-air broadcast of 4K Ultra HD (UHD) signals in Korea using technology based on the ATSC 3.0 standard.

“This is a significant achievement in realising the feasibility of new broadcasting technology and an important first step in preparation for next year’s test transmissions here,” said Youngsoo Park, Chief Technology Officer of SBS.

Both organisations successfully transmitted and received 4K Ultra HD and HD mobile signals simultaneously in a single 6MHz channel. LG also demonstrated the capability to receive HD mobile signals in a fast moving vehicle using the technology that is likely to form part of the ATSC 3.0 ‘physical layer’, the companies claimed in a statement.

Dr Skott Ahn, president and CTO, LG Electronics, added: “LG is leading the way in development and commercialisation of ATSC 3.0. Test broadcasts like this show how we are partnering with broadcasters around the world to drive adoption next-generation broadcasting technology.”

The Seoul trial follows field tests in the US in Cleveland and Madison, Wisconsin, undertaken by LG, its R&D lab Zenith and GatesAir. Their innovations in the baseline physical layer transmission system may become an ATSC Candidate Standard next month.

LG Electronics, Zenith and GatesAir were co-inventors of the transmission system behind the ATSC A/153 Mobile Digital TV Standard, adopted by the industry in 2009.

The new ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard will require higher capacity to deliver 4K UHD services, robust reception on mobile devices and improved spectrum efficiency. The increased payload capacity of the physical layer combined with HEVC encoding will, say the companies, enable a greater range of service offerings for broadcasters.