According to reports, a new NASA TV channel will broadcast ultra-high definition (UHD) footage throughout North America, starting from November 1.
This will be the first ever non-commercial consumer UHD channel in the U.S. It is a result of a partnership established between the national space agency and Harmonic, a company which offers video delivery infrastructure.
According to officials, a Space Act agreement was signed by Harmonic, in conjunction with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center from Huntsville, Alabama.
NASA TV will broadcast images and videos collected on a regular basis by the International Space Station (ISS), as well as footage made available by other space missions.
In addition, the television channel will also feature older, but re-mastered media from prior quests. This way, historic missions will be watched by viewers in higher clarity than ever before. The videos and images will be delivered to audience members at 60 frames per second, in linear 2160p60.
There is already a NASA TV channel, which presents the most important projects that are currently under way, offering viewers real-time coverage in high definition. However, the new channel is bound to be greatly superior in terms of quality and resolution.
”Partnering with Harmonic gives NASA an outlet for its UHD content, which has four times the resolution of HD and is the next iteration of digital television”, declared Robert Jacobs, the agency’s deputy associate administrator for its Office of Communications.
Currently, there are negociations between Harmonic and TV network operators, in order to broadcast the video content using a hybrid fiber-coaxial system (combining optical fiber and distribution cables). This way, TV subscribers will get to see the footage live, on their television sets.
The channel will also be easily accessed from its own Internet streaming website, by online visitors. The webpage will be available using a wide variety of devices, provided that the Internet connection speed is at 13Mbps or more.
That value is slightly higher than the average data transmission speed recorded in the U.S., which is at 11.9 Mbps, according to a 2015 report issued by Akamai.
Before the official launch on November 1, a set of trials will be conducted, to ensure that everything functions as it should. Afterwards however, space enthusiasts will be able to marvel at the beauty of the universe while enjoying higher image definitions than they ever experienced.
In the meantime, those interested in a preview of the 4K imagery that NASA TV will begin broadcasting can watch sneak-peek footage shot by astronauts on the ISS, and uploaded by the agency on Youtube.
Image Source: Pixabay