Vatican TV debuts live 4K HDR broadcast

St. Peter's Square. Image: Diliff/Wikipedia

Vatican TV debuted some cutting-edge broadcast technology last weekend.

Viewers were able to watch a ceremony in 4K HDR in which Pope Francis promoted three American bishops to cardinal, which was the first time the Vatican’s in-house broadcast operation had used the technology.

According to CBS News, Centro Televisivo Vatican (CTV), the 21-person broadcast station that is run by the Vatican, covered the recent event with 12 cameras. Sony was also on-hand for the broadcast.

Last year, Sony announced it had worked with CTV to overhaul its equipment used for its live footage capture. CTV’s OB-8 OB truck was built out with eight Sony HDC-4300 cameras, a 4K PWS-4400 server and a 4K MVS-7000X switcher. In addition to the cameras and lenses, the truck had installed a HD/4K multi-port storage unit and a 4K MVS-7000X mixer.

That mobile unit was used to capture in 4K and HDR the opening ceremony of the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

"We needed to update our mobile infrastructure and at the same time align our technology with the quality standards of the most advanced international broadcasters. Producing content in 4K and HDR is therefore an area of great interest for the Vatican Television Centre, which is really focused on the development of this new production technology,” said Stefano D'Agostini, technical director of CTV, in a statement.

"For many years, Sony has worked with CTV, who have achieved important technological firsts, offering productions of the highest quality. Sony is extremely proud to have played a significant role in documenting historical events of global significance, such as the beatification of Pope Paul VI and the canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, all filmed in 4K. Choosing this format was no accident, and it has proved to be particularly innovative," said Benito Manlio Mari, country sales manager of Media Solutions for Sony Professional Europe, in a statement.