The number of planned Ultra HD channels delivered by satellite will exceed 1,000 worldwide by 2025, according to Mike Chandler, MD, SES UK.
Speaking at the 4K in Focus conference in London, ahead of the start of the OTT TV World Summit, he added that the adoption of Ultra HD in the world’s different regions is dependent on the maturity of the TV markets, available infrastructure and TV offerings.
North America, Europe and Asia have been the first to start broadcasting Ultra HD channels, though their numbers are still limited, the largest number available (six) being in the Asia-Pacific region. However, 246 are planned in the latter by 2025, while the corresponding figures in Europe are 220, North America 300, South America 177 and MENA 110, with the global total reaching 1,053.
Speaking about some specific channels, Chandler said that Fashion One is the world’s first global Ultra HD channel, available in Europe, South America and North America via 19.2 degrees East, 47.5 degrees West and 103 degrees West. Launched only this September, its playout, ground segment and distribution services are fully managed by SES Platform Services.
Chandler also mentioned pearl.tv, Germany’s first Ultra HD, which made its debut in August. Delivered via 19.2 degrees East, its technical operations are also managed by SES Platform Services.
Meanwhile, High TV, a linear multi-genre Ultra HD cable channel, delivered by SES-3, is planned for North America and should reach 100 million TV homes.
In Europe, the latest Ultra HD channel to launch id TV Entertainment Reality Network (TERN), making its debut in October and delivered via SES at 19.2 degrees East.
In the US, NASA UHD, produced in partnership with Harmonic and delivered by SES’s AMC-18 satellite, was launched at the beginning of this month.
Chandler said he saw huge potential for the latter channel, with NASA opening up its archives to provide content for the service.
He also said he expects a number of announcements in the next two years about new Ultra HD channels.
In conclusion, he added that SES now carries the first commercial 24/7 Ultra HD channels. There is a full OTT playout system in operation; satellite delivery is with ubiquitous coverage and the highest picture quality; all UHD channels are fully compliant with the DVB Phase-1UHD specifications; and that in 2017 the DVB UHD Phase 2a standard will further enhance quality with higher contrast (HDR) and more colours (WCG).