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How to easily handle live UHD events?


01 December 2020

UltraHD events like soccer games, Formula 1 and concerts are now regularly happening and more broadcasters have started adding UltraHD content to their programming.

This content ends up taking a lot more bandwidth in UltraHD compared to HD which restricts their transmission to satellite and OTT. While their legacy HD channels are 24/7 and distributed as HD SDR, their UHD events channel(s) is most of the time fed with demo content (demo loop of high quality UHD HDR demo content).

Setting up such a UHD HDR live event channel is still a challenge, but BBright has developed a set of solutions to make it easy to deploy and simplify the whole workflow.

Channel UHD Live Event

What are the challenges?

One key challenge is dealing with the mix of HDR and SDR contents. Many TV ads can still be delivered in SDR or HD SDR but live production of them must ensure that the UHD channel is always fed with valid UHD HDR content.

A second challenge is to keep HD and UHD versions of the TV channels in sync. Critically important for live sport! If you enjoy your game on your latest OLED UHD TV, a delay of just a couple of seconds will ruin it for you if you can hear a GOAL coming from your neighbor’s TV. Broadcasters also try to avoid setting up two independent productions: One for UHD and one for HD.

Finally, UHD live events channels must also be on air the rest of the time to provide demo content in UHD loop. Using a baseband UHD playout might be an overkill, in terms of costs and power usage. A UHD loop can easily be generated from 100% IP BBright compressed playout solutions to minimize the cost of operation and power consumption.

How to make it easy with BBright?

With the BBright UHD-Channel, it is now easy to deal with hybrid SDR / HDR contents, and upconvert everything to a single UHD HDR format. BBright Live Production and Playout solutions now support Technicolor ITM (Intelligent Tone Management) to enable live SDR / HDR cross conversion and facilitate HDR deployments. This HDR conversion can be activated and adjusted for each content.

As of today most of SDR to HDR upconversions are simple 3D Lookup Tables, and it is clearly not good enough for live broadcasting. 3D LUTs HDR upscale is visually acceptable and maps SDR Rec709 into HDR Rec2020, but does not create any HDR effect on the processed video. That’s why BBright has decided to integrate a more advanced processing (Technicolor ITM), capable of re-creating the HDR “Wow effect” from SDR content, and without affecting tone and light aspects.

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BBright UHD-Channel playout server handles UHD HDR live input (either ST2110 or SDI, but also directly TSoIP to avoid the use of contribution decoder) and a large number of file formats, including (but not limited to) XAVC, ProRes, Transport Stream, MOV, MXF, JPEG2000! Multiple file formats can be used in the same playlist with seamless transition. Thanks to the combination of internal Technicolor HDR ITM. and built-in upscaler, the UHD-Channel upconverts on the fly HD SDR content to UHD HDR. For example, legacy HD ads can be directly ingested in the UHD-Channel to be upconverted to UHD HDR (HDR10 or HLG). No need to go through time consuming and expensive off-line file transcoding or upconversion.

With BBright full 2110 & SDI support, no need to use external converters: you can use SDI (quad 3G-SDI) or ST-2110(Dual 25Gbits/s ports with ST 2022-7 seamleass switching) on input or output, all combinations are possible.

In terms of operations, the built-in BBright automation allows dynamic playlist for live production. Operations can define a dynamic playlist, activate HDR upconversion only for SDR sources (either file or live), and that’s it.

Mix live, SDR, HDR, HD and UHD in dynamic playlist

BBright UHD-Channel built-in automation offers a dynamic playlist mode dedicated for live production management. Once the event is started, the playlist can still be updated dynamically: add new contents or live events, change the content order by simple drag and drop actions, skip to next or manually stop the live.

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Support for Full Rest API and for legacy protocols such as VDCP make it easy to integrate the UHD-Channel into existing workflows.

Built-in upscaler will automatically convert HD contents to UHD, and to ensure a perfect and seamless HDR quality (either HDR10 or HLG), Technicolor HDR ITM can be manually enabled for each content and can also be activated on live Input to upconvert SDI / ST-2110 or Transport Stream input to HDR.

Manage Ultra HD HDR and legacy HD SDR with a single production workflow

BBright UHD-Channel also supports Technicolor SL-HDR1 processing to down convert HDR to SDR and can also carry multiple outputs. This Technicolor HDR Solution provides an elegant way to get both Ultra HD HDR and HD SDR feed from BBright UHD-Channel.

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Getting both Ultra HD and HD feeds from the same source is the best way to get UHD and HD in sync, and now with BBright graphic’s engine, both feeds can get their own graphics (one for example to specify it is UHD).

Local ad insertion

BBright UHD-Channel also supports SCTE-104 message insertion. SCTE-104 messages are transported over SDI or ST 2110 as VANC metadata, and defines switching point for future add insertion over the distributed content. These SCTE-104 messages will later on be translated into SCTE-35 messages by live encoders for IP distribution.

With SCTE-104 messages available on your UHD baseband feed, you are now ready to maximize the monetization of your premium UHD Events!Channel UHD Live Event5

Make Ultra HD event channels simple!

BBright UHD-Channel integrates in a single solution many key features:

  • Live SDR to HDR conversion
  • Live HDR to SDR conversion
  • Dynamic playlist management for live production
  • Multiple outputs
  • Ready for ad insertion
  • ST2110 / SDI / Compressed input support

All these features in a single solution makes UHD-Channel unique in terms of integration: All you need to handle live Ultra HD event channels in a single solution!