M7 Group, one of Europe’s leading pay-TV providers, will be delivering the FIFA World Cup matches live in Ultra High Definition (UHD) to all subscribers of Canal Digitaal from 14 June to 15 July, following an agreement with satellite operator SES and Dutch Public Broadcaster NPO/NOS. The World Cup matches will be delivered live in native Ultra HD to all of M7 Group’s Canal Digitaal subscribers via a dedicated channel called “NPO UHD”, set up specially for the event. For the duration of the World Cup, NPO UHD will be broadcast via a dedicated transponder on Astra 23.5 degrees East, the key orbital position utilized by Canal Digitaal for the distribution of its main channels.
The UHD broadcast of the World Cup was initiated by Dutch public broadcasters NPO and NOS, which are keen to enable soccer fans to enjoy an enhanced viewing experience. As innovative front runners, NPO and NOS also see this UHD transmission as an opportunity to better understand the requirements to boost the uptake of this new TV technology in Dutch homes. To enjoy all the FIFA World Cup matches in UHD, Canal Digitaal subscribers simply need to insert a suitable CI+ module with a smartcard in their UHD TV set. Since practically all UHD TV sets have a built-in satellite tuner, a separate UHD receiver is not required. For the encoding, M7 Group makes use of the latest generation encoders made available by Harmonic Inc. for this transmission.
Bill Wijdeveld, VP Business Development at M7 Group, said: “We are very happy to join this unique experiment of NPO/NOS and quite pleased with the support provided by SES and Harmonic to enable high quality UHD transmissions via the orbital position of Astra 23.5 degrees East. This is also a great opportunity to showcase the unrivalled quality of satellite as a carrier for UHD live broadcasting and we trust our Canal Digitaal subscribers will appreciate this chance to watch the World Cup matches in such superb picture and sound quality.”
Ferdinand Kayser, CEO of SES Video, said: “Thanks to M7, Dutch soccer fans will be able to follow each match and cheer on their favourite players in crystal clear picture quality, and we are very proud to enable the delivery of such an immersive viewing experience. Sports events have always been great strikers for new technologies, and this UHD broadcast of the FIFA World Cup perfectly illustrates that trend.”