In the next chapter of the War Horse story, National Theatre Live in collaboration with Sony, are pushing the technological boundaries of live entertainment to a new level. For the first time worldwide, the multi-award ...


In the next chapter of the War Horse story,National Theatre Live in collaboration with Sony, are pushing the technologicalboundaries of live entertainment to a new level. For the first time worldwide,the multi-award winning stage production will be broadcast live in 4K.

On February 27th 2014, National Theatre Live(NT Live) will broadcast War Horse live from the New London Theatre to cinemasacross the world. The broadcast will be shown in Sony 4K at the Curzon Cinemain Chelsea, the theatre production will be projected using a Sony projector,ensuring cinema-goers enjoy the best possible 4K viewing experience. Therecording will be available as a 4K DCP allowing many 4K enabled cinemas toalso show encore screenings at a later date. 


Creative Broadcast Solutions (CBS), TechnicalProducer for NT Live, with NEP Visions, NT Live’s long-term OB partner willwork with Sony, using Sony’s F55 Super CineAlta cameras equipped with FujinonCabrio lenses to capture the performance. NEP Visions will provide thetechnical infrastructure and expertise to take the 4K content from camera tosatellite, as well as recording and broadcasting a simultaneous HDversion. 

The cameras will feed 4K content into SonyBPU4000 fibre adapters which generate 4K and HD signals simultaneously, thefeeds are then sent to a 4K capable vision mixer to create a live mix from thesix camera feeds, adding graphics and subtitles (for the HD version only).Pre-recorded supplementary programme materials have been ingested onto a Sonymedia server to play in. The live mix is passed to the satellite serviceprovider Links Broadcast. The mix feed is recorded on a Sony MasterDeck, bothfor archive and the creation of a 4K DCP master that will be sent to theatresaround the world. NEP Visions will also record 4K ISOs onto two additional SonyMasterDecks for later use. As well as the groundbreaking 4K presentation, NEPVisions will provide a simultaneous live HD feed for distribution by LinksBroadcast to over 1000 cinemas worldwide in line with NT Live’s existingprogramme of broadcasts.

Links Broadcast will provide the satelliteuplink and downlink facilities to enable the delivery of the War Horse 4Ksignal from the New London Theatre in to the Curzon Cinema in Chelsea. TheLinks Broadcast 4K uplink will operate alongside Links’ HD uplink facility andwill enable the encoding of the incoming 4K content. Using four synchronousAdtec EN-100 encoders the incoming signal is combined in to a single transportstream via an Adtec DTA3050 multiplexor for onward transmission via a 1.5mantenna on Links Broadcast’s 4K uplink vehicle.

The 4K signal will be uplinked on to SESAstra’s 3B satellite using 36Mhz of capacity in order to achieve the maximumpossible video data rate within the modulated 4K transport stream. 

The incoming signal will be downlinked at theCurzon cinema in Chelsea via a 1.8M Links Broadcast receive antenna which willbe fed in to Adtec RD70 receiver decoders and will be delivered to Sony’s 4Kcinema facility for the projection.

Decoded 4K pictures will be fed directly toCurzon Chelsea’s Sony projector, with four times the detail of 2K orconventional HD television pictures, Sony 4K brings audiences unmatched levelsof immersive detail and realism.


About War Horse:

Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, WarHorse is the powerful story of a young boy called Albert and his beloved horse,Joey, who has been requisitioned to fight for the British in World War I.Caught in enemy crossfire, Joey ends up serving on both sides during the warbefore landing in No Man’s Land, while Albert, not old enough to enlist,embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. Aremarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, War Horse featuresground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company,which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage, seen by over 4million people worldwide the broadcast of War Horse will be seen in over 1000cinemas in more than 30 countries. 

Spokespeople Quotes:

Emma Keith, Producer, NT Live, commented, “NTLive is delighted to be at the forefront of this new technology and to continuebeing at the cutting edge of live broadcast, particularly with our productionof War Horse, which at its heart is a show which involves some spectacularpuppetry – an art form which is thought to have originated over 5000 yearsago.”

Chris Bretnall from Creative BroadcastSolutions commented, “We are proud to have been integral with the NT Livebroadcasts from the outset, CBS are tremendously excited to continue to exploitthe latest in emerging technologies to achieve the best possible experience forthe cinema audiences.”

Brian Clark, Commercial & TechnicalProjects Director, NEP Visions commented, “NEP Visions is delighted to beinvolved in the ground breaking event that is the National Theatre’s hugelyprestigious project, War Horse, being broadcast live in 4K. This project ispart of NEP Visions’ continuing push for innovation in developing areas oftechnology, to support our production partners and remain at the cutting edgeof TV.”David Bush, Head of Marketing at Sony Professional, Sony Europe added,”At the heart of Sony DNA is the will to push technological boundaries alwaysfurther. Being able to demonstrate, with the help of partners, a worldwidefirst live 4K workflow from stage to screen, on a project as well loved andrenowned as War Horse, represents a true milestone in the development of 4Ktechnology.” 

Rob Wickings, Managing Director, LinksBroadcast, said, “This is a most exciting development in broadcast technologyand in live satellite transmission in particular, and Links Broadcast are proudto be working with the National Theatre and its other technical partners onthis revolutionary project which builds upon our existing experience indelivering major live events”.

About NT Live

National Theatre Live is an initiative by theNational Theatre to broadcast live performances onto cinema screens around theworld. 

Since its first season, which began in June2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Helen Mirren, over 2million people have now experienced the work of National Theatre Live incinemas worldwide. In addition to the recent record-breaking broadcast of TheAudience starring Helen Mirren as The Queen (winner of two 2013 Olivier Awards,including the Best Actress award for Mirren), recent broadcasts have includedthe Manchester International Festival production of Macbeth with KennethBranagh in the title role, Nicholas Hytner’s acclaimed production of Othellowith Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear, and the Donmar production of Coriolanuswith Tom Hiddleston, in the title role.

War Horse is currently celebrating its sixthyear at the New London Theatre in the West End, and is also on a successfultour of the UK and Ireland. A German language production entitled Gefährten isrunning at the historic Theater des Westens in Berlin, a North Americanproduction continues to tour throughout 2014, and a Dutch language productionis will open soon at the Royal Theatre Carre in Amsterdam running untilSeptember as part of the Holland Festival, and will then tour to five Cities inthe Netherlands. The Broadway production of War Horse was the winner of sixTony Awards including a Special Tony Award for Handspring Puppet Company. 

Based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, WarHorse is adapted by Nick Stafford and presented in association with HandspringPuppet Company. Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, it is designed byRae Smith, lighting is by Paule Constable and movement and horse choreographyby Toby Sedgwick. The puppetry directors are Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler,with video design by 59 Productions Ltd, song-making by John Tams, music byAdrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt. 

War Horse is produced in the West End by theNational Theatre and National Angels. 

Website: http://www.ntlive.comTwitter:

About Creative Broadcast Solutions

Creative Broadcast Solutions, led by ChrisBretnall, are world-leaders in TV production and satellite distribution of liveevents to global digital cinema locations.

Chris has been the Technical Producer forNational Theatre Live productions since inception, and he and the team havemanaged most of the live event to cinema transmissions within the UK over thelast 8 years.

The last 28 years in broadcast management anddelivery has encompassed over 3500 projects: with continuing production andconsultancy roles for a wide range of geographically and content-richclients.Website: Twitter: 

About Links

Links Broadcast is the UK’s leadingindependent provider of satellite uplink facilities, satellite capacity,production facilities, IP satellite facilities webcasting and relatedfacilities and services. With a fleet of HD and SD SNG vehicles as well asfly-away uplinks, transportable TV Receive Only dishes, Microwave and Fibrefacilities, Cameras and Production Crew Links can respond to any requirementwhatever its size. Our experience extends across all genre of broadcastingincluding sports, entertainment and corporate events and we have been involvedin some of the largest events in the world of broadcasting including the LondonOlympics, the Royal Wedding, the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions Leagueand we have been actively involved in the distribution of digital cinemacontent for many years. We are trusted to deliver services on behalf of all ofthe major broadcasters and production companies in the UK and we frequentlywork for many major international organisations. Links Broadcast is a whollyowned subsidiary of SCCI Alphatrack who are specialists in commercial satelliteand terrestrial broadcasting as well as special events.

Website: Twitter: Facebook:


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