The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that it will be launching its own 4K TV channel on Nov. 1.

In a blog post, NASA revealed that its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama has struck a deal with video delivery infrastructure firm Harmonic to deliver Ultra High-Definition (UHD) content, or 2,160p at 60 frames per second, via pay TV channels and its own Internet streaming website.

"Partnering with Harmonic gives NASA an outlet for its UHD content, which has four times the resolution of HD and is the next iteration of digital television," says Robert Jacobs, NASA's deputy associate administrator for its Office of Communications.

NASA already has its own TV channel, NASA Television, but footage is delivered in High-Definition. The new TV channel will leverage the 8MP resolution of UHD to offer audiences an ultra-stunning look at space as they sit inside their living rooms.

Footage to be expected from NASA's new channel will be sourced initially from current high-resolution images and videos taken from the International Space Station and remastered footage of "historical missions."  

For now, the space agency is still negotiating deals with cable, satellite and optical networks to provide access to what it calls "the first ever non-commercial consumer ultra-high definition channel in North America." It is worth noting that Comcast and Verizon, the biggest pay TV providers in the United States, currently do not offer NASA Television, so viewers may have to wait for a while before they can actually switch the remote to NASA's upcoming 4K channel.

However, viewers can still access the channel for free via the Internet through their PCs and mobile devices, as long as they have a good Internet connection with speeds of 13Mbps or higher. That is currently slightly above the U.S. average of 11.9Mbps, as posted by Akamai Technologies.

For several months now, technology companies have been touting 4K as the future of digital content. However, while manufacturers have been pushing ultra-expensive Ultra-HD TVs to consumers, adoption has been minimal mostly due to the dearth of 4K content available to viewers, but content providers are slowly but steadily trickling in to go 4K.

"As organizations at the forefront of innovation, together we are leading the adoption of this exciting technology," says Harmonics Chief Marketing Officer Peter Alexander.

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