Intel showcase 8K HDR streaming from the Tokyo Olympics, bravo!

August 8, 2021

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan is coming to a close, a true example of triumphing over adversity of all sorts, whining tennis players include. Intel have now demonstrated for the first time 8K/60 fps HDR video of Olympic events that was live-streamed from Japan over the public internet. Amazingly enough, the feat was accomplished using Intel technology from end to end, and demoed at locations in Los Angeles, California, Portland, Oregon, Brazil and elsewhere.

TechHive broke the news that Japanese broadcaster NHK captured footage of various events in 8K (7680×4320) at 60 fps and 10-bit HLG high dynamic range with 4:2:2 chroma subsampling using Sony F65 CineAlta cameras. That raw data, which requires a bandwidth of 48Gbps, was then sent via fiber optics to the Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS), where it was converted to a 4x12G SDI electrical signal.

Image Credit: TechHive

According to TechHive, the signal was then encoded and compressed using the Spin Digital Enc Live V1.0 HEVC codec on a server with four Intel Xeon 8380H scalable CPUs and a total of 112 cores running the Ubuntu/Linux operating system. Other hardware included 384GB of RAM and 480GB of Optane 900P SSDs. The HEVC output from the system included a contribution signal at 250 Mbps and a distribution signal at 50 to 100 Mbps, both with 4:2:0 subsampling. Perhaps most impressive, the encoding and compression was performed in nearly real time with a latency of only 250 to 400 milliseconds!

The distribution signal was then uploaded to an open cloud service. Intel wouldn’t identify which one it used, but it could be any such service, such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud. The stream can utilize two protocols: HLS (HTTP Live Stream), which packetizes the data and uses a variable bitrate, or RTP (Real Time Protocol), which sends the data without packetization at a fixed bitrate.

The signal was then uploaded to an open cloud service such as Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, or Google Cloud.

Image Credit: TechHive

TechHive followed this entire demonstration from Los Angeles, and mention that it was captured by a “gigabit ethernet router that passed it to a Windows 10 PC via Wi-Fi 6E. That computer included an 18-core Xeon W-2295 CPU, as well as 64GB of RAM and a 1TB Intel SSD. Spin Digital Player V2.2.2 decoded the video in real time, which was then output to a 75-inch 8K TV via HDMI 2.1 from an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU.”

The end result? They mention the images was so sharp they were even able to read the names on the athletes’ identification cards, even what he put on each of their tattoos, they could also appreciate the water droplets that splashed during the 50m freestyle swimming.

by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2018, CES 2017, 2016 and 2015. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering. Reach him at: