Vatican Media’s Christmas Eve Mass, broadcast live in Sony 4K Ultra HD, will feature additional 8K recorded capture test

by Sony Pro Team 12/22/2017, in 4K, News, Sony Professional, Notes From the Field, Production

Sony and Vatican Media test 8K capture with the UHC-8300


Vatican Media and Sony Professional Solutions continue their joint effort to study and evaluate future technology possibilities for capture and archive with the Christmas Eve Mass, December 24, 2017, at 9:30pm in Rome, presided by Pope Francis from St. Peter’s Basilica, where a trial capture in 8K will take place.

A single Sony UHC-8300 camera equipped with three 1.25-inch 8K sensors positioned in the Basilica will capture the most poignant images of the liturgical ceremony. The UHC-8300 camera system, introduced during IBC 2017, can be used not only for 8K production, but also for 4K. It’s able to generate 8K, 4K and HD signal outputs simultaneously applying different color spaces and multiple High Dynamic Range flavors. Real time cut outs from an 8K picture to a 4K image provide flexible framing when capturing large shots, enhancing the creativity and ultimately leading to a better program. For this current test, an UHC-8300 and two PWS-4500, 4K live server will record and capture 8K 120p images, and it will not form part of the, now regular, 4K HDR live production that is taking place simultaneously.

This experiment in 8K continues the long-standing partnership between Vatican Media and Sony Professional Solutions. From the beatification of Pope Paul VI and the Canonization of Pope John XXIII captured in Sony 4K, to the live worldwide broadcast of the Ceremony of the Closing of the Holy Door by his Holiness Pope Francis, in Sony 4K High Dynamic Range.

Mons. Dario Edoardo Viganò, Prefect for the Secretariat for Communications of the Vatican, stated:  “In 1960 the games in Rome marked a key moment for the experimentation in worldwide live broadcast of TV events which then became standard during an ecclesial event like the Vatican Council of 1963. Today we witness a papal event – the Mass of Christmas Eve -, which stimulates and precedes the wider adoption 8K technology. It is curious, but history is like this: important occasions often have the ability to foreshadow modernity. This 8K trial we will carry out at the Vatican in collaboration with Sony is fully part of the mission of the Holy See’s Secretariat for Communication. The test, thanks to the commitment of the Vatican Media team, allows for the production of high quality documentary material for our archives and therefore for the historians of tomorrow. It also follows the path traced by the Vatican media reform called for by Pope Francis, who continually urges us to adapt our communication system to the needs of the contemporary digital environment to better support the delivery of messages to the four corners of the planet.”

“At Sony, we’re always finding new ways to empower amazing storytelling and help our customers meet the demand for stunning capture in 4K. Sony is supportive of Vatican Media and their mission to deliver the highest quality images to their audiences. Our 8K sensor technology offers the capability to capture for 4K production and is a leap forward in imaging technology. This 8K test, supported by our engineers and technical support teams, will push the boundaries of image innovation, as well as pursuing flexibility and creativity in capturing for today’s 4K productions” , commented Richard Scott, Head of Media Solutions, Sony Professional Solutions Europe.

“While 4K production has become the norm for high end productions,  the roadmap for 8K still requires investigation, but Sony and Vatican Media have always worked together to pioneer and test new technologies and formats in their infancy,” commented Benito Mari, Country Sales Manager Media Solutions, Sony Professional Solutions.

Additional background information

On December 24th, starting at 9:30 pm, the Christmas Eve Mass, presided by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica, will be broadcast live via satellite in Ultra HD on Rai 4K on channel 210 of the Tivùsat free satellite platform. This initiative is in collaboration with Eutelsat, Globecast, Rai and Sony Professional.

The event marks the international debut of Vatican Media, the new brand that identifies all of the Vatican’s media productions.

A world-class team made up of Eutelsat, Globecast, Rai, Sony and Tivùsat will provide its resources and technological capabilities to bring the celebration directly into Italians’ homes with the highest quality of images through Eutelsat’s HOTBIRD satellite. The event will be broadcast simultaneously on Rai1 and on Rai1 HD through digital terrestrial and satellite, as well as globally through the usual circuit used by the Vatican.

Sony’s live production workflow called “SR Live for HDR” will be used enabling multiple format distribution, (HR, SDR, 4K SDR, HD HDR and 4K HDR), fulfilling all broadcasters needs as well as meeting the highest level of quality expected for archiving purposes.