Ultra HD

UHD 4 Reasons Infographic
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In video, it’s the small details that make up the bigger picture. Viewers are looking for deep and fulfilling viewing experiences that can transport them into the heart of the action—whether it’s a football pitch, a Hollywood scene, or nature’s most breathtaking vistas. With Ultra HD, you can capture every emotion and every action in more detail—with a crystal-clear image, higher range of colours, deeper contrast, faster frame rate, and greater depth of field. The result is a truly immersive experience, with life-like video that delivers incredible detail.

To help usher in the age of Ultra HD, we are innovating alongside our industry partners. Together, we are mastering the detail of Ultra HD.

We’ve been at the forefront of bringing the next generation of video to viewers—from launching the very first Ultra HD demo broadcast in April 2013, to rolling out the first 8K Ultra HD demo in May 2018. We work together with content creators, broadcasters, technologists, and TV manufacturers to stay updated with new technological developments and market trends. By consistently testing various phases of the technology, and developing end-to-end solutions for our partners, we are helping to fine-tune the experience of Ultra HD as it grows.

Capturing the detail

More resolution means more details. With four times the pixels of HDTV, Ultra HD captures the true essence of a moment in time—by recreating colours with more accuracy, and bringing distant objects into sharp focus. On Ultra HD TV sets, this added detail and clarity brings a truly immersive experience to viewers.

UHD growth
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Ultra HD transforms the viewing experience at every level:

  • BT.2020, a standard created by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), increases the number of displayable colours, while also providing finer gradients between colours
  • 10-bit colour increases the number of shades for each primary colour from 256 to 1024, providing a total of one billion displayable colours
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) increases contrast by enabling the signal to carry information about brighter pixels, right from the broadcaster to the TV screen
  • High Frame Rate (HFR) allows transmissions at 100 frames per second—so fast-action sports and fast camera movements can become smoother and sharper  

Delivering the detail

Broadcasting a detailed image is quintessential to delivering a truly immersive viewer experience.

Our satellites are positioned to reliably and efficiently deliver every detail of the Ultra HD experience to audiences across the globe.

Today, our satellites already

  • Transmit to 355 million TV homes around the world
  • Reach 27.4 million Ultra HD–ready homes in Europe
  • Deliver 12 demo channels over our key orbital positions
  • Carry more than 50 Ultra HD channels worldwide

The number of Ultra HD channels globally is expected to grow to 934 by the year 2026. By 2022, almost 5.69 million households will have access to 4K Ultra HD TVs. We deliver consistent bandwidth with 99.99936% reliability from our global fleet and secure ground network, ensuring we can take highly immersive Ultra HD content from anywhere to everywhere—and help you grow as the market expands.

In addition to continuously upgrading our systems and services to distribute Ultra HD content, we also help streamline the entire Ultra HD ecosystem. By working together with content partners, platform operators, and TV manufacturers, we help to improve every element of the Ultra HD value chain.

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Pushing Ultra HD Beyond Frontiers

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"SES is the most cooperative partner I’ve ever met. Since the beginning, they’ve been willing to think together to solve every challenge that arises. They are innovative, and were an obvious choice for us, as they are one of the few providers that could handle a complete live playout for us."
Natalie Boot, Digital Director at INSIGHT TV

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Talk to us about how together we can master the detail of Ultra HD.

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