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National Theatre Live presents the world’s first live 4K theatre broadcast, War HorseAuthor: Meredith Knight / February 18, 2014

In the next chapter of the War Horse story, National Theatre Live in collaboration with Sony, are pushing the technological boundaries of live entertainment to a new level. For the first time worldwide, the multi-award winning stage production will be broadcast live in 4K.

On February 27th 2014, National Theatre Live (NT Live) will broadcast War Horse live from the New London Theatre to cinemas across the world. The broadcast will be shown in Sony 4K at the Curzon Cinema in Chelsea, the theatre production will be projected using a Sony projector, ensuring cinema-goers enjoy the best possible 4K viewing experience. The recording will be available as a 4K DCP allowing many 4K enabled cinemas to also show encore screenings at a later date.

Technical:
Creative Broadcast Solutions (CBS), Technical Producer for NT Live, with NEP Visions, NT Live’s long-term OB partner will work with Sony, using Sony’s F55 Super CineAlta cameras equipped with Fujinon Cabrio lenses to capture the performance. NEP Visions will provide the technical infrastructure and expertise to take the 4K content from camera to satellite, as well as recording and broadcasting a simultaneous HD version.

The cameras will feed 4K content into Sony BPU4000 fibre adapters which generate 4K and HD signals simultaneously, the feeds are then sent to a 4K capable vision mixer to create a live mix from the six camera feeds, adding graphics and subtitles (for the HD version only). Pre-recorded supplementary programme materials have been ingested onto a Sony media server to play in. The live mix is passed to the satellite service provider Links Broadcast. The mix feed is recorded on a Sony MasterDeck, both for archive and the creation of a 4K DCP master that will be sent to theatres around the world. NEP Visions will also record 4K ISOs onto two additional Sony MasterDecks for later use. As well as the groundbreaking 4K presentation, NEP Visions will provide a simultaneous live HD feed for distribution by Links Broadcast to over 1000 cinemas worldwide in line with NT Live’s existing programme of broadcasts.

Links Broadcast will provide the satellite uplink and downlink facilities to enable the delivery of the War Horse 4K signal from the New London Theatre in to the Curzon Cinema in Chelsea. The Links Broadcast 4K uplink will operate alongside Links’ HD uplink facility and will enable the encoding of the incoming 4K content. Using four synchronous Adtec EN-100 encoders the incoming signal is combined in to a single transport stream via an Adtec DTA3050 multiplexor for onward transmission via a 1.5m antenna on Links Broadcast’s 4K uplink vehicle.

The 4K signal will be uplinked on to SES Astra’s 3B satellite using 36Mhz of capacity in order to achieve the maximum possible video data rate within the modulated 4K transport stream.

The incoming signal will be downlinked at the Curzon cinema in Chelsea via a 1.8M Links Broadcast receive antenna which will be fed in to Adtec RD70 receiver decoders and will be delivered to Sony’s 4K cinema facility for the projection.

Decoded 4K pictures will be fed directly to Curzon Chelsea’s Sony projector, with four times the detail of 2K or conventional HD television pictures, Sony 4K brings audiences unmatched levels of immersive detail and realism.