French public broadcaster, France Télévisions, has signed a multi-year contract with Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris, London Stock Exchange: ETL) to broadcast two 4K channels on both terrestrial and satellite networks. France 2 UHD, a full-time channel, and France 3 UHD, a part-time UHD channel dedicated to special events will be distributed via satellite to terrestrial transmitters across the French territory, as well as Direct-to-Home via the Fransat platform.
The channels will be broadcast via the EUTELSAT 5 West B satellite using the new DVB-SIS (Single Illumination System) transmission technology standard. This enables France Télévisions to use a single content source, combining distribution to both the terrestrial network backbone (DTT) and Direct-to-Home (DTH) reception via Fransat, the free-to-view satellite platform for French DTT channels. In preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the service is scheduled to start by early 2024.
UHD or 4K offer viewers true immersion and an unprecedented viewing experience with an image quality four times richer than the current Full HD and two times more images per second. By incorporating satellite in their UHD distribution strategy, France Télévisions is ensuring that they can reach and serve all audiences with high-quality, reliable content delivery. Satellite has the available bandwidth and extensive reach, to provide extremely popular, premium quality content to all users across vast territories, as well as off-set terrestrial networks for a smooth, consistent viewing experience.
Jacques Donat-Bouillud, Head of Distribution for France Télévisions comments: With 4K standards, France Télévisions is delighted to be able to bring our France 2 and France 3 channels to our viewers with exceptional picture and sound quality. Eutelsat has provided us with an innovative and competitive solution for feeding terrestrial and satellite networks. Eutelsat’s technical expertise and quality of services were decisive for us.
Laurence Delpy, General Manager of Eutelsat’s Video Business Unit, added: “We are honoured to have been chosen by France Télévisions for the first launch of a public UHD channel, and the first deployment of the DVB-SIS standard in France. By incorporating this mutualized approach in their distribution strategy, feeding both terrestrial and satellite networks from a single source, France Télévisions is efficiently ensuring that all viewers across the French territory can enjoy the 4K quality programmes, no matter where they are located.” BusinessWire