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NASA, Amazon to Live-Stream First 4K Ultra HD Video From Space

NASA will give Earth dwellers the first live-streaming look at 4K Ultra HD video from space, in an event co-produced with Amazon Web Services.

The U.S. space agency will present the free live-stream during a session at the 2017 NAB Show on April 26 in Las Vegas. The live feed from 250 miles above Earth will be encoded with Amazon Web Services’ Elemental encoding software on board the International Space Station (pictured above) and on the ground at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The entire event, starting at 10:30 a.m. PT on April 26, will be available free to the public in live 4K (and downconverted HD) video at live.awsevents.com/nasa4k. A VOD asset will be available after the event in lower resolutions on the NASA TV Channel and in both HD and 4K on NASA’s website. Obviously, 4K-capable devices will be required to view the video in 4K resolution.

In the live 4K stream during the NAB panel, NASA astronaut Dr. Peggy Whitson — on board the ISS — will converse with AWS Elemental CEO and co-founder Sam Blackman, who will be at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The panel discussion also will feature astronaut Dr. Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Rodney Grubbs, manage of NASA’s Imagery Experts Program, along with Bernadette McDaid, head of development for VR & AR at Bau Entertainment, Khawaja Shams, VP of engineering for AWS Elemental, and Dr. Dave McQueeney, senior principal investigator with IBM Watson Group.

NASA has been a pioneer in the application of advanced media, including 4K video. By streaming real-time video that captures images four times the resolution of current 1080p HD, NASA is “enhancing its ability to observe, uncover and adapt new knowledge of orbital and deep space,” the agency said.

Amazon’s CloudFront Content Delivery Network (CDN) will provide the live-streaming access in both 4K and HD. Las Vegas-based Roberts Communications Network is providing the satellite downlink truck for the transmission of the 4K feed from Johnson Space Center to the LVCC, and Christie is providing 4K projectors for in-room display during the NAB session.

This year’s NAB Show is being held April 22-27 in Las Vegas.

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