NASA turns to COMSATCOM to deliver space in UHD

If you’ve always been mystified with the magic and mystery of space, captivated by the vastness of the universe and longed to be among the stars, you may soon get your opportunity thanks in large part to NASA and commercial satellite communications (COMSATCOM).

Earlier this week, NASA announced plans to launch the, “first ever non-commercial consumer ultra-high definition (UHD) channel in North America.” This channel – which has been named NASA TV UHD – will deliver 4K UHD videos and images from space to a wide range of televisions, computers and mobile devices.

Space enthusiasts that tune into the network can expect to see videos and images of space taken during NASA missions and via the International Space Station, remastered content from historic space missions and other content that illustrates the beauty and majesty of space.

The network itself is expected to launch online on November 1, 2015. NASA and its partner in the channel – Harmonic – are, “currently…in discussions with pay TV operators to carry the channel on the satellite, cable and optical networks for consumer access.”

The UHD experience promises to deliver stunning visuals to viewers. According to Robert Jacobs, deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Communications, “UHD content, which has four times the resolution of HD and is the next iteration of digital television.”

Delivering this content – however – is a challenge unto itself.

UHD signals require the transmission of significant data, and – as a result – a large amount of bandwidth. According to NASA, just watching NASA TV UHD on an Internet-connected device requires a connection capable of handling 13 MBps.

This is why NASA is turning to COMSATCOM to ensure that the NASA TV UHD signal can make it to cable providers.

The NASA TV UHD channel will be delivered via SES’s AMC-18 satellite, which is one of three SES satellites over North America capable of delivering UHD signals. Distribution via the AMC-18 satellite will drastically increase the reach of the network and enable a large population of Americans to get a high resolution glimpse into space.

According to Steve Corda, Vice President of business development for SES in North America, NASA TV UHD over the SES AMC-18 satellite will be able, “to potentially reach more than 100 million US television homes through virtually every cable TV, IPTV and direct-to-home provider across the region.”

To learn more about NASA TV UHD, read NASA’s recent press release by clicking HERE.

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