Delivering Low Latency 8K Live Streaming over the Internet

Article by Zixi

A number of innovative global technology organizations aligned to demonstrate end-to-end 8K live video showcase from live production to encoding, streaming and playback on 8K TV live streaming over the internet.

The demonstration was presented on December 9th, 2020 at multiple locations worldwide and organized by Intel (US), NHK Technologies (Japan), Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center - PSNC (Poland), Spin Digital (Germany), Globo (Brazil), and with the support of Sony (Japan/UK), Astrodesign (Japan), and Zixi (US).

Global 8K live streaming

The demonstration consisted of an end-to-end 8K live video showcase from live production to encoding, streaming and playback on 8K screens.

The 8K live program was produced at the PSNC’s 8K studio in Poznan. The 8K content, with 7680x4320 pixels, 10-bit, at 60 frames/s, was live encoded in HEVC and streamed in ultra-low latency, broadcast quality using the Zixi transport protocol to multiple locations across the globe, where it was received live and played on 8K screens. Viewing locations included NHK Technologies in Tokyo, Globo in Rio de Janeiro, Intel in Portland, and Spin Digital in Berlin.

8K live production and encoding

The production of the live program was performed using 3 cameras, an 8K live switching system, and a 4x 12G SDI output interface. The 8Kp60 content was encoded in real-time using a HEVC/H.265 encoder developed by Spin Digital. The new software encoder has been extensively optimized for Intel Xeon Scalable processors in order to achieve an unparalleled level of quality and performance. Spin Digital’s 8K live encoder was able to provide broadcast-grade quality in a low-latency configuration at 120 Mbit/s, and the same level of quality was possible with a bit rate of 48 MB/s in a high-efficiency encoding configuration.

8K live delivery over IP networks

The 8K content was distributed to multiple viewing points across the globe using the open Internet. The encoder generated an RTP stream that was distributed using the Zixi protocol, part of Zixi’s Software-Defined Video Platform (SDVP). With proven reliability delivering broadcast quality video over IP, the Zixi Protocol can transport any video stream across the world in 1s or less, offering the lowest latency whether video is SD, HD, 4K or 8K. 

Low latency 8K Live Internet Streaming

Combining the low-latency encoder configuration with Zixi’s ultra-low latency transport protocol transmitted the 8K live video program with a glass-to-glass latency between 1-2s depending on location. The end-to-end latency from Poznan to the different playback locations was measured using synchronized clocks, and the obtained latency measurements were: 1145ms to Berlin, 1514ms to Portland, 1982ms to Tokyo, and 2261ms to Rio de Janeiro. The encoder was also configured in high efficiency mode resulting in glass-to-glass latencies between 3.5-4.5s.

Playback on 8K TVs with HDM2.1

The 8K live stream was played back using Spin Digital’s software media player running on Intel Core i9 CPUs. The media player includes a flexible output module with support for different 8K interfaces including HDMI 2.0, HDMI 2.1, and 12G SDI. 

The content was viewed at different locations worldwide on 8K screens from different manufacturers, among them Sony’s KD-75ZH8 8K HDR Full Array LED TV. The TV was connected to the player using an HDMI 2.1 interface via a professional SDI-to-HDMI converter developed by Astrodesign.

Technical specifications

Below we present the main technical specifications of the signal and systems used in the demonstration:

8K live system

  • 3 Sony F65 CineAlta cameras
  • 8k live switching system build using Barco E2
  • 4x 12G SDI output interface

8K output video format

  • Resolution and frame rate: 7680x4320 - 59.94 Hz
  • Color sampling and characteristics: 4:2:0, 10-bit, SDR, BT.709


  • Codec: HEVC/H.265 - Main 10 Profile - level 6.1
  • Encoder: Spin Digital’s Spin Enc Live v1.0
  • Bitrate: 120 Mbit/s (low-latency configuration) and 48 Mbit/s (high efficiency configuration)
  • Platform: 4x Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 CPUs (total of 112 cores)


  • Format: 5.1 channels
  • Codec: AAC-LC


  • HTTP streaming with HLS and AWS CloudFront CDN distribution
  • MPEG2-TS over IP with RTP
  • Point to multipoint transport using the Zixi Software-Defined Video Platform (SDVP)

Media player

  • Spin Digital’s Spin Player v2.2.2
  • Platform 1: Intel Core i9-9940X with GPU and HDMI 2.1
  • Platform 2: Intel Xeon W-3265 with 12G SDI

8K TVs and interfaces

  • TV: Sony KD-75ZH8 8K HDR Full Array LED TV
  • 12G SDI to HDMI 2.1 converter: Astrodesign 7076


Final Thoughts

This demonstration highlighted the possibilities of a state-of-the-art HEVC software encoder for reducing the bitrate needed for 8K live applications and showcased Zixi’s ultra-low latency delivery capability along with their future-oriented software stack capable of delivering high bandwidth up to 5Gbs per stream. The test provided a glimpse into the new and next generation of video delivery technology, which these innovative companies are constantly improving. For worldwide viewers, this promises a new and more immersive experience by making 8K live applications a practical reality for applications like live sports, concerts, lectures and countless additional uses across a variety of regions and industries. 

About Zixi 

Zixi is the industry leader for enabling dependable, live broadcast-quality video over any IP network, any protocol, any cloud and any edge device.