NASA TV UHD: One Small Step for Studio, One Giant Leap for Accedo

On September 12th, Day 1 of this year’s IBC Show in Amsterdam, we saw the launch of the NASA TV UHD Roku channel, powered by Accedo, Harmonic and CenturyLink. It was a milestone for everyone involved, here's why.

 By Yi Tang, Solutions Engineer, Accedo

As a collaborative effort with NASA and partner companies, the channel showcases the beauty of space in Ultra HD (UHD) and high dynamic range (HDR) with an exceptional video experience. Comprising a live stream and on-demand videos from the NASA space programme, the service brings the vastness and drama of space into the living room.

“Being part of this groundbreaking project with our partners Accedo and CenturyLink helps us showcase the expanded color space offered by the HDR format from an intergalactic perspective, a feat that has never been achieved before.” – Tim Warren, senior vice president and chief technology officer, video business at Harmonic

Who was Involved?

Harmonic, CenturyLink, and Accedo are involved in bringing this channel to market. Harmonic specializes in UHD encoding and delivering content with HDR. CenturyLink provides a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that reliably delivers content to global customers. And of course, Accedo brings the video experience expertise.

Why We Did This

High dynamic range (HDR) is one of the next big things in video technology, offering a noticeable improvement to image quality by enhancing colour, brightness, and contrast.

For the initial launch of the NASA TV UHD, we chose to work with Roku as it has the largest market share in the US and Canada of streaming media players and offers a good range of UHD HDR capable devices. In addition, as long-standing partners, we relish the opportunity to work on projects such as these which take our people and products to new heights (excuse the terrible pun!).

NASA in turn, is of course, extremely well known for space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research and with UHD HDR we could truly feature the stunning space imagery available. The channel includes eight new TV series designed to explore the various facets of NASA’s space program past, present, and future. Content covers striking views of earth and distant galaxies, life on the international space station, details of spacecraft and R&D efforts, and more.

How We Did It

The NASA TV UHD Roku channel was built using Accedo’s Studio Pro product, which made sure we didn’t need rocket science to build the video experience and native channel, or any complicated process for keeping it up to date and certified.

The configuration of a swimlane component in Studio Pro

To manage the video metadata, we used Publish Metadata. Content, metadata, video URLs, and image links were organized in a .csv file and then imported into our Publish product.

NASA TV UHD assets in Publish Metadata

Like any other project at Accedo, many stars throughout our organization were involved.

  • Design: Created designs for all the screens.
  • Product: The product managers and developers created many builds, provided support for certification, and troubleshooting help.
  • QA: Ran tests to ensure minimal issues with certification.
  • Business Development: Worked with Harmonic to ensure a strong mutually beneficial partnership that enabled us to deliver an app that satisfies everyone’s requirements.
  • Solutions Engineering: Project management, content creation in Publish Metadata, and configuration of the UI/UX using Studio Pro.

 

The Firsts

This NASA TV UHD channel is one of the most significant created by the solutions engineering team. We regularly create Proof of Concepts (PoCs) for various customers, so it was great to see the NASA TV UHD take off and go to market, in style at IBC.

In terms of Roku channels, this is the first exclusively UHD HDR channel. As a unique channel offering, the channel highlights Roku’s UHD HDR compatible devices and illustrates their capabilities.

Launch and Marketing

The channel’s launch date coincided with IBC 2018 – one of the most influential events in the media, entertainment and technology industry calendar. The response from delegates, press, and industry professionals was enormous and Accedo received considerable recognition with our logo and name appearing throughout the channel on the splash screen and about page.

Learn more about the new NASA TV UHD HDR service. 

Press Release: https://www.harmonicinc.com/news-events/press-releases/read/new-uhd-channel-featuring-nasa-content-powered-harmonic-video-saas-comes-roku-platform-high-dynamic-range/

Video: https://harmonicinc.app.box.com/s/ccikqrsgoiy3thcf9y1bgxnd9xsf56ds/file/318565152749

Roku channel: https://my.roku.com/add/NASATVUHD

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