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UK's First Dedicated 4K UHD Entertainment Channel Launched

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Virgin Media has partnered with Globecast to launch the UK's first dedicated 4K UHD entertainment channel, Virgin TV Ultra HD.

The channel will be available for Virgin Media's Full House and VIP customers using its next-generation Virgin TV V6 set-top box. Globecast is supplying both cloud-based playout and media management services.

The channel will air during prime-time with a line-up of premium dramas, wildlife and nature documentaries, plus concerts from some of the biggest names in music.

Juliet Bayliss, Sales Director, Globecast, said: "We are providing Virgin Media with a fully managed service ready for transmission. Our end-to-end solution is a hybrid of public and private cloud, working completely in Ultra HD.

"We are very proud to have been chosen by Virgin Media for the launch of Virgin TV Ultra HD and to highlight our cloud-based playout capabilities. Broadcasting in UHD – especially with high end video frame rates, bit depths and audio needs – requires a very high level of technical expertise, particularly when receiving content from multiple suppliers that must be prepared for seamless cloud- and GPU-based encoding. Adding cloud-based, UHD playout to our offering is not only important to us, but also to the market globally as we are a go-to provider for playout and distribution services."

Globecast partner Cinegy also helped launch the channel with broadcast playout engine, Cinegy Air PRO, which was deployed to allow the building of "Channel in the Cloud".

Ian Redgewell, Head of Media Management, Globecast, said: "If we weren't cloud-based, we would have had a very hard time achieving this in the short amount of time we were given. Cinegy convinced us that, using the cloud, even UHD/4K is no problem."

Stephen Featham, Director, Digital Entertainment Operations with Virgin Media, added: "With the launch of Virgin TV Ultra HD we're giving our customers the ultimate entertainment viewing experience with must-see shows in incredible, crystal-clear picture quality. We're pleased to be working with Globecast on the launch of this exciting new channel for our customers. They share our expectations of quality and, through agile use of cloud technologies, are able to grow the service to meet our current and future needs for a fully managed service."
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