June 14, 2018

Fraunhofer HHI enables live broadcast of the 2018 Soccer World Cup in Ultra HD on Swisscom TV

The leading Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom has selected encoding and multiplexing systems from Rohde & Schwarz for the upcoming live broadcast of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Ultra HD (UHD) on the SRG channels SRF, RTS and RSI. These systems use the HEVC-Live-Encoder of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI to compress the UHD videos.

For the first time, Swisscom TV customers can watch the World Cup in super-sharp UHD picture quality and HDR on SRG channels. Swisscom uses the R&S AVHE100 encoding and multiplexing systems. The applied systems use the latest video compression standard HEVC to achieve the highest video quality at the lowest possible data rate. The integrated HEVC encoder, which was developed by Fraunhofer HHI, enables live transmission of 4K/UHD at up to 60 frames per second. The advantage for the consumer is the recording and transmission of the entire playing field in a full-length shot, which gives the viewers a strategic overview, while at the same time enables them to see the smallest details, such as the player’s shirt number.  

The new generation of ultra-high-definition televisions shows videos in razor-sharp UHD resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels), which corresponds to four times the full HD resolution. However, the transmission of sharper images is associated with a significantly higher data rate. Therefore, highly efficient compression is required. Compared to its predecessor H.264/MPEG-AVC, the HEVC standard reduces the data rate by 50 percent while maintaining image quality. HEVC was developed as an international standard of ITU-T and ISO/IEC with significant participation of Fraunhofer HHI and other renowned electronics manufacturers.