There’s been a fall in the number of Ultra High Definition services broadcast over SES satellites.
The number of commercial channels in operation has fallen from 40 to 37 over the last 12 months as the number of promotional channels that have ceased broadcasting reduced the total number from last year’s high water mark of 50.
In a presentation covering the release of the new SES Satellite Monitor, Ricardo Topham, who has led the study since 2015, said there was an emphasis on UHD channels broadcast as premium services.
“With the Covid 19 situation and priorities being revisited and reviewed I think that in some cases UHD was a nice to have, it wasn’t a must have so these test channels disappeared.”
Topham added that the business case for the commercial channels was also challenging. “Some of the customers just decided to drop these channels as the bandwidth is quite demanding, equivalent to two or three HD channels”.
In the more mature markets of Europe and North America there is also slow transition from SD to HD TV channels. In Europe only 13% of TV sets are standard definition.
Topham said broadcasters were remaining in SD out of caution because, in Europe, they might lose 13% of their audience.