The Italian broadcasting services provider RAI is going to start transmitting its eight-episode mini-series drama “Medici: Masters of Florence” as of the 18th of October to subscribers of the service in Europe.
The show itself is a historical set drama which revolves around the exploits and power struggles of the 15th century Italian Renaissance political dynasty of the Medici family and stars Dustin Hoffman as one of its key actors.
RAI will be offering the mini-series exclusively through its 4K channel on Italy’s Tivusat platform, which is broadcast through the Eutelsat HOTBIRD satellite network.
Homes which subscribe to Tivusat and come equipped with an ultra HD 4K TV set will be able to watch the RAI presentation in native 4K resolution but there will also be a Full HD version of “Medici” available to subscribers without 4K TVs on the RAI 1 channel. RAI itself is collaborating with Eutelsat, MThree, and DBW Communications on the development and delivery of 4K UHD transmissions to European consumers. These developments include canned 4K UHD content like “Medici” and include live sports broadcasts of events like the 2016 Euro football matches.
RAI is also involved in live 4K sportscasts
As far as Eutelsat and its partners are concerned, these sorts of broadcasts are a clear display of how 4K content is emerging among major European broadcasters as a regularly scheduled consumer service. There is still a major scarcity of 4K UHD cable broadcasting available anywhere in the world but satellites are taking up some of the slack due to their larger ability to handle the bandwidth necessary for 4K ultra HD video resolution in regularly scheduled entertainment content and special live events.
According to Renato Farina, the Managing Director of Eutelsat Italy,
“A growing library of native and high-quality Ultra HD content is one of the conditions for UHD to firmly take root in consumer homes. RAI’s commissioning of ‘Medicis: Masters of Florence’ is a strong signal to viewers and we are proud to be part of the delivery chain to Italian TV homes.”
The efforts of RAI in Italy are only part of what’s emerging with the 4K broadcast entertainment landscape in Europe. In France, Zive is also offering 4K broadcast content and will even be presenting the same show as RAI to its own audiences, and in the U.K, we have the live sportscast transmissions of BT Sport. Other countries like Portugal, Spain and Germany are seeing the development of their own consumer ultra HD broadcasting offerings for domestic consumers. All of these efforts are paralleled by streaming internet 4K content services like Amazon and Netflix, which are now also making their UHD programming available throughout Europe as well.
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