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nc+ kicks off 4K/Ultra HD journey with Axon

The Polish pay-TV platform has launched a 4K/Ultra HD sports service using Axon’s Synapse and Cerebrum solutions

In November last year, nc+, a Polish pay-TV platform, launched the country’s “first” 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) sports service.

The nc+ technology team worked alongside systems integrator BCP over a period of 12 months of research and technical evaluation to install a range of 4K/UHD signal processing and production tools from Axon Digital Design.

The partnership resulted in a newly designed infrastructure that is capable of managing ingest of four satellite feeds. Four Axon’s Synapse U4T240 4K/UHD four-wire production toolboxes were installed within the facility to manage LUT-based colour space and high dynamic range (HDR) conversion. These toolboxes, according to Axon, ease the challenges of a four-wire production set-up by carrying Vanc and Hanc data such as timecode and embedded audio, as well as providing encoding and decoding of Dolby E.

The workflow also features Axon’s Cerebrum monitoring and control platform, which integrates with, and control, third-party technology through a customisable graphical user interface.

Jaroslaw Janowski, technology team leader, nc+, said: “Axon’s Synapse 4K/UHD tools enable nc+ to intelligently manage embedding and line routing. Their processing and control solutions offer reliability and easy integration, which has really helped simplify the workflow.”

The successful roll-out of the service kicked off with the live broadcast of the UEFA Champions League football match between Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur. In addition to live sports, including Premiership football, nc+ subscribers are also able to watch on-demand movies and Internet-delivered services in 4K/UHD via the 4K/UHD UltraBOX+ set-top boxes (STBs).

Olgierd Dorn, technical director of nc+, concluded: “As a broadcaster, we have always been at the forefront of delivering the best viewer experience to Polish audiences, and we are showing our commitment to the 4K/UHD standard.

“In 2006, we introduced HD services to the Polish market, and are now the first to offer subscribers live sports coverage and much more in 4K/UHD. Axon’s technology will enable us to future-proof our investment and deliver our vision.”

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