Tata Communications delivers live 4K feed of Formula 1

MUMBAI: Tata Communications has become the  first company to  deliver a live  4K feed from  a  Formula 1  event. The  landmark  was achieved  during the  practice  session  at  the  2014  Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix where live footage was delivered end-to-end over Tata Communications’ global video connect network, to Formula One Management’s (FOM) Technical HQ in Biggin Hill, UK.

Demonstrated to  an  exclusive  group  of  broadcasters, the  live  delivery  highlighted  the  next  generation  4K broadcast capabilities afforded by fibre-optic cable, as well as illustrating how the future of 4K sports broadcasting could look.

Tata Communications F1 business managing director Mehul Kapadia said, “Last year we were able to showcase our broadcast capabilities by transmitting a live JPEG 2000 feed from the same Grand  Prix in Singapore. This year we have taken a huge step in next generation broadcast with the  first-ever transmission of a live 4K feed from  a Formula 1 event.  It is another milestone in our journey with Formula One Management and shows the real potential of sports broadcasting  over  our  video  connect network,  as well  as the  quality  and  speed by  which  it  can  be delivered.”

4K broadcasting promises ground-breaking definition and also presents the challenge of significantly increased bandwidth demand. Typically, Tata Communications provides 120 megabits per second (mbps) for JPEG 2000. During the  Biggin Hill showcase, the telco provided 500mbps for a single feed. This was made possible  with the  company’s  global  video  connect network,  delivering  video  and  converged IP services seamlessly for high quality sports events.

Formula  One  management  chief  technical  officer John Morrison commented, “Formula  1  racing  is  the  pinnacle  of cutting edge technology, and provides the ultimate showcase for innovation. 4K is an exciting new technology which could have great potential when it comes to sports broadcasting. We are focussed on given F1 fans the best possible experience, which is why we are pleased to be supporting Tata Communications in bringing 4K closer to reality.”

The live demonstration also highlighted the global capability of Tata Communications’ dedicated Video Connect Network which affords 4x redundant connectivity between source and  destination, while ensuring zero  packet drop for a smooth viewing experience.  

The network also offers ready connectivity to key media hotspots globally including stadiums, teleports, broadcasters and direct-to-home, cable and over-the-top service providers. In a world  where customers have  more  choice  than  ever  before  when  it  comes to  content   consumption,  Tata  Communications specialised media network helps deliver a high-quality service regardless of the location, format and bandwidth required.

Kapadia added, “Consumer demand for high quality and live content across different platforms is now the norm and with the emergence of bandwidth hungry production workflows, especially that of 4K broadcasting, quick turnarounds and availability of content  across multiple platforms are hygiene factors for content  owners. Having the world’s  only  wholly-owned  global  fibre-optic  ring  of super-fast  cables  means that  we  are  able  to fully exploit  the potential of new technologies such as 4K, from locations across the globe; and give broadcasters and content  owners the ability to reach an ever more demanding audience with ever higher quality content.”

In February 2012, Tata Communications signed a deal with Formula One Management to deliver world-class connectivity to all Formula 1 race locations over its global network.

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