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Cloud-Based Frame Rate Conversion for 4K Sports Streaming: Enhancing Live Broadcasts from France to Japan

As global demand for high-quality 4K live broadcasts of sports events continues to grow, broadcasters face significant technical and financial challenges. The traditional high costs associated with international 4K video transport and conversion between 50Hz and 59.95Hz standards have been a major obstacle.

However, leveraging cloud technology and SW based frame rate conversion on a pay-as-you-go basis offers an efficient, cost-effective solution.

This case study explores how NHK, with the technology support of Comprimato, successfully streamed the Rugby World Cup 2023 from France to Japan, transforming the landscape of international sports broadcasting. By utilizing software-based standards conversion and AWS cloud, they demonstrated a scalable and affordable approach to meet the demands of modern viewers.

International sports broadcasting challenges

  1. High Transmission Costs: The traditional methods of transmitting 4K video internationally involve significant expenses, often prohibitive for many broadcasters. These costs can be attributed to several factors:
    • Dedicated Hardware: High-quality encoders and decoders are necessary for 4K transmission, which involves substantial upfront investments.
    • Bandwidth Requirements: 4K video requires significantly higher bandwidth compared to HD, leading to increased costs for data transmission over international networks.
    • Satellite and Fiber Optic Fees: Leasing satellite transponders or international fiber optic lines for live broadcasts incurs substantial recurring costs.
  2. Latency and Fault Tolerance: Ensuring low latency and fault-resistant transmission is crucial for live sports broadcasts to maintain viewer engagement and satisfaction.
  3. Differing Video Standards: Various regions use different video standards (e.g., 50Hz and 59.94Hz formats), creating technical barriers to seamless international broadcasting.
  4. Frame Rate Conversion: Converting video frame rates to match the standards of the destination region is a complex technical challenge that requires specialized solutions to maintain video quality and synchronization.

Making 4K live sports content delivery possible

To address these challenges, NHK implemented a cutting-edge video transmission system utilizing AWS cloud services and SRT transmission methods, with technology provided by Comprimato.

Figure 1: Transmission system diagram (Source: NHK website)

Technical details

The transmission system architecture, as illustrated in the provided diagram, comprises several key components:

  1. AWS Cloud Integration: The system utilizes multiple AWS regions, including eu-west-3 (Paris) and eu-west-2 (London), connected to the ap-northeast-1 (Tokyo) region via a peering connection. This setup ensures network stability and scalability.
  2. SRT Transmission: Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) protocol is employed to facilitate low latency and fault-resistant transmission of 4K video.
  3. 4K Real-Time Frame Rate Conversion (FRC): Comprimato’s Live Standards Conversion enables real-time frame rate conversion directly in the cloud, addressing the issue of differing regional video standards.
  4. TS Analyzer: The TS (Transport Stream) analyzer visualizes the transmission status, enhancing monitoring capabilities and ensuring seamless broadcast quality.

Key features

  1. Cost Efficiency: The system reduces the cost of 4K transmission lines to less than 10,000 yen per hour (approx. $63.40 per hour), significantly lower than traditional methods.
  2. Scalability and Flexibility: The cloud-based architecture allows for flexible configuration changes to meet various transmission requirements worldwide.
  3. No Upfront Investment: Operating on a pay-as-you-go model, the system eliminates the need for expensive on-premises equipment, making it accessible to a broader range of broadcasters.
  4. Efficient Standards Conversion: Real-time 4K frame rate conversion, available on a pay-as-you-go basis, ensures compatibility with regional broadcast standards, maintaining video quality and synchronization.


The successful streaming of the Rugby World Cup 2023 from France to Japan showcases the transformative potential of cloud-based 4K video production.

NHK’s innovative implementation, supported by Comprimato and AWS cloud, addresses key challenges in international sports broadcasting, offering a scalable, cost-effective, and high-quality solution.

As demonstrated, this approach not only meets the growing demand for 4K live broadcasts but also sets a new standard for the industry, making high-quality sports production accessible and affordable worldwide.

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