NASA is launching a 4K TV Channel in November
NASA has announced that it will launch a new 4K television channel dedicated to showing UHD footage on November 1st.
The space agency is working with a company called Harmonic, a video delivery infrastructure company, to launch the channel. NASA is calling it “the first ever non-commercial consumer ultra-high definition channel in North America.” Harmonic is providing NASA Television with the ability to deliver the 4K (2160p at 60 frames per second) video.
The plan for the new channel sounds similar to the way NASA Television currently works. You will be able to access it on the internet on most devices, provided you have access to a connection of 13 Mbps or higher, and it will also be available from certain television providers. That last part comes with a catch, though.
NASA states in the announcement that Harmonic is in discussions with paid TV operators to carry the channel on “satellite, cable and optical networks for consumer access,” but no deals have been finalized. And it’s worth noting that the current HD iteration of NASA TV is not widely available — Comcast and Time Warner, for instance, do not carry it nationwide.
The channel won’t be too different from the current NASA TV, by the sounds of things. You will be able to view it on the web, though you will need a connection of 13Mbps or higher for a stable stream. The channel will also show up on traditional TV, as NASA is currently in talks with satellite and cable companies in the US, though “no deals have been finalized” just yet.
NASA’s 4K channel will primarily feature the UHD footage that the agency has been filming on the International Space Station over the past few months, as well as 4K time-lapses created from images taken aboard the ISS. But perhaps the most exciting news is that NASA will be re-mastering footage from historical missions; that alone is a deep catalog to pull from, to say the least. The possibilities could be endless: from eating lettuce aboard the ISS, to multi-camera, slow motion footage of shuttle launches, to Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon — space exploration is about to look even cooler.