NHK World HD launches on Eurobird
By Robert Brie

NHK World HD has launched today on the Sky and Freesat platforms using GlobeCast capacity on the Eutelsat Eurobird 1.

NHK World HD is a 24/7 English language channel produced by JIB and NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, fed live from Tokyo. The feed is downlinked in France at GlobeCast’s Bercenay and Sainte Assise teleports, and sent via fibre on GlobeCast’s Backbone Network to the London operations centre, where the video is re-encoded and AC3 audio is added.

The channel is then uplinked to the Eurobird 1 satellite for the Sky platform. GlobeCast already provides turnaround and satellite capacity for NHK World TV in SD format, as well as delivering NHK World HD on a number of IP platforms in Europe.

NHK World TV is available to an audience of over 137 million potential households in more than 120 countries. The new satellite deal adds another 10 million Sky and 1 million Freesat homes.

“The live video coverage of the earthquake and tsunami which hit Eastern Japan on March 11 displayed the power of HD television extensively,” said Hatsuhisa Takashima, president and CEO of JIB, in a statement. “Now we are able to make this state of the art technology and powerful English language news coverage available to the television viewers in the UK through our partnership between GlobeCast and JIB. I am sure that NHK World HD will bring evidence of Japan’s recovery from this history-making natural disaster in the months and years ahead to the eyes of British people. Their compassion and generous assistance extended to the victims and has been greatly appreciated by the Japanese people.”

JIB, a subsidiary of NHK, is the exclusive distributor of NHK World HD throughout the world. NHK has newsgathering operations throughout Japan, Asia, and elsewhere around the world, including 30 international news bureaux. Newsline, focusing on news events in Asia and the world, airs live from Tokyo at the top of every hour. Additional original content, including business, technology, fashion, food, travel, and other cultural programmes designed for global audiences, is broadcast in four-hour cycles suited to time zones around the world.