Several US cable operators are testing Ultra HD content across SES’s fully managed Ultra HD platform and receiving HEVC 4k IP set top boxes in preparation for trials later this year.
According to SES, it has signed Ultra HD trial agreements with Cable America in Missouri, Golden West Telecommunications in South Dakota, MTC Cable in New York, Sjoberg’s Cable TV in Minnesota and ATMC in North Carolina. As part of the programme aimed at accelerating 4k delivery to homes across the country, SES is shipping 4k/HEVC set top boxes to cable operators participating in the first-ever Ultra HD trials.
It adds that after purchasing more than four million Ultra HD TVs last year and a projected 10 million in 2016 in the US alone, consumers are increasingly demanding 4k content from their cable operators.
SES is currently carrying four Ultra HD channels on satellites serving every cable system and nearly 100 million homes across North America, including Fashion One 4K, NASA TV UHD and High 4K TV. The fourth choice on SES’s regional 4k dial is SES’s UHD1 channel, which has quickly become a popular venue for up-and-coming 4k content producers creating great Ultra HD material with an eye toward ultimately launching their own Ultra HD channels.
Cable operators of all sizes across North America can easily downlink 4k content from SES’s growing Ultra HD satellite platform to test the mix of 4k movies, TV shows, news, and sports events across their networks.
Commenting on the development, Steve Corda, VP of business development in North America at SES, said: “As millions of cable subscribers increasingly press for 4K content on their new Ultra HD TVs, some of the smallest cable operators in the US are now leading the way to bringing Ultra HD to homes across the country.
“SES’s breakthrough, fully-managed Ultra HD platform is enabling us to conduct the first-ever trials, which are bound to play a key role in the national and global rollout of Ultra HD.”
Richard Sjoberg, president and CEO at Sjoberg, a cable television innovator serving 33 towns in Northwest Minnesota, added: “Ultra HD has arrived in Minnesota, as we prepare to deliver 4k content to subscriber homes this year.
“Along with high-speed broadband, we’re seeing an increasing demand for Ultra HD across our subscriber base, and together with SES we’re on the leading edge of technology, with a simplified solution that will make the transition to Ultra HD far faster and more efficient. We’re looking forward to being among the first in the country to deliver game-changing television to our customers.”
Glen Faulkner, general manager at MTC Cable in upstate New York, added: “We are excited to be participating in this trial focused on offering Ultra HD content to our customers.
“The SES solution provides an economical platform for the delivery of Ultra HD content, which is now more frequently requested by our customers. The cable television industry, with high-capacity DOCSIS 3 networks widely deployed, is well-positioned to be at the forefront in delivery of this high resolution content.”