NASA will launch a 4K TV channel later this year

NASA UHD will be the first full-time 4K channel in the US

NASA plans to launch a 4K TV channel this fall and has already begun test broadcasts.

The new channel, called NASA UHD, will broadcast 24 hours a day and be available free of commercials, according to a promotional video currently being broadcast alongside NASA's existing channels on the AMC-18 satellite.

Initial programming will be based around eight different video series: Liftoff, ISS Life, Deep Space, Development, Solar System, Earth View, Mars and NASA Classics.

150907 nasa uhd 1 Martyn Williams

A promotion for new programming on NASA's new UHD channel broadcast on the AMC-18 satellite.

Unless something launches in the meantime, the channel will be the first full-time, regularly programmed 4K channel available in the United States.

It will likely be welcomed by owners of 4K televisions who face a shortage of 4K material to enjoy, but how they will receive the channel is unclear. It will be broadcast in HEVC, a new format being proposed for global 4K broadcasting.

HEVC-compliant satellite receivers are not widely available so currently direct reception is only possible with a powerful PC with a built-in satellite tuner. And you'll also need a large satellite dish for the C-band service. So it's likely the channel won't be easily available until subscription cable and satellite providers carry it.

150907 nasa uhd 3 Martyn Williams

A NASA UHD testcard broadcast on the AMC-18 satellite.

A taste of the programming on offer has been offered by NASA since January this year on YouTube. The space agency started uploading content shot in 4K to stream online and the videos do look amazing.

But 4K is nothing compared to some of the imagery being captured by NASA.

The organization's Solar Dynamics Observatory, a satellite that remains focused on the sun, produces images that are even higher resolution that a 4K TV can display. As this illustration from the Goddard Space Flight Center shows, the SDO's images are 4,096 pixels square -- a step beyond 4K TV's 3,840 pixels by 2,160 pixels.

sdo uhd comparison 4k NASA/GSFC/SDO

NASA's SDO captures images at a resolution greater than 4K TV. This image from SDO was captured on Nov.13, 2012, and shows star-shaped solar flare in the lower left-hand corner.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NASA UHDNASATV channel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?