According to a recent NASA announcement, the space agency plans to roll out an Ultra HD TV channel November 1.
NASA usually posts its high-definition videos and images on its YouTube channel and official website, but now it plans to go further and launch its first non-commercial Ultra HD channel. The channel would be available to the entire U.S. through televisions or Internet connection.
According to the blogpost announcing the exciting news, the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center of Huntsville has partnered with San Jose, Calif.-based video server and storage provider Harmonic Inc.
The move follows a major trend in TV manufacturing industry which is now focusing on providing customers with TV sets that can support 4k Ultra HD content. Nevertheless, 4K footage is scarce despite high demand, and NASA may soon meet that demand. The agency added that 4K content holds great potential for digital television.
Ultra HD (UHD) videos are four times sharper than traditional HD footage. NASA already has a HD TV channel, but it plans to raise the stakes with Ultra HD TV. Robert Jacobs, a spokesperson for the U.S. space agency, announced that the new UHD channel would deliver 8-MP resolution footage straight into its viewers’ homes.
But some TV carriers may not broadcast the new channel since several of them failed to do so with current NASA high-definition channel. So, if you are among the ones that won’t get to see NASA’s exclusive space content in UHD quality on TV, the space agency announced that the same footage would be posted online and made available for everyone to see at no cost.
NASA said that the video content would contain data delivered by the International Space Station and the U.S. space agency’s deep space missions including NASA’s Curiosity mission on Mars or New Horizons mission over planet Pluto.
Additionally, NASA pledged to restore and broadcast historical footage taken from missions that changed space exploration in the past century. This footage would also be available in Ultra HD TV quality on the NASA’s new channel. But it may take some time before the footage is ready to be broadcasted.
The space agency also reported that it was currently negotiating with several TV carriers to make the UHD channel available to as many viewers in North America as possible.
But some of the carriers including Comcast and Verizon were reluctant about the new non-commercial TV channel. If in the end they don’t agree with NASA’s terms, you will still be able to see the space agency’s content on the Internet but you need to make sure your connection is 13 Mbps or more.
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