Next year will see the first commercially available Ultra HD channels, said Michel Chabrol, SVP new Tv formats at Eutelsat.
Claudia Vaccarone, head of market research at Eutelsat, backed up the claim with figures of actual UHD channels now being broadcast. There are currently 54 feeds on satellite (not just Eutelsat), representing30 channels. The forecast is that there will be 785 UHD channels by 2025.
In Europe, there are currently 22 UHD channels. On Eutelsat’s Hotbird, there are three UHD channels, Funbox UHD, 4K1 and 4K2. 4KAfrica is on 7 degreesEast, as well as an UHD channel from Digiturk. At 36 degrees East, Insight UHD, Tricolor and Fashion TV UHD are broadcast to Russia.
According to an Eutelsat industry survey found that 16% is already involved in UHD, with another 15% saying they will launch in 2016, while 60% expects to launch an Ultra HD service within the next five year. Only one in four respondents said they were not interested in UHD.
Rian Bester, CEO of Insight, sees Ultra HD development rolling out completely different from the transition from SD to HD. “At the time it was very much content driven, where manufacturers tried to convince us to buy HD screens that are almost double the price.”
What we are now seeing, is the UHD penetration is huge “UHD sales is real, people are having the sets in their home. What is lagging is content. We Insight TV channel] are of the ones that are leading the way, producing up to 200 hours of UHD content a year and we have now commissioned the first four shows in HDR.”
Insight is not only distributing its linear channels via satellite and IPTV, but also across smartphones, tablets, PCs, smart TVs and ”we are now looking at game consoles.”