Ferdinand Kayser, CCO at Luxembourg-based SES, speaking at IBC, said the satellite operator sees “steady momentum” and an accelerated uptake of Ultra-HD broadcasts leading to an expected 220 UHD channels over Europe by 2025.
Kayser was launching an SES ‘White Paper’ on UHD which confirmed that 2015 has seen a significant breakthrough with the number of channels either on air or about to launch. “Demos, content, high-technical standards, devices and the delivery infrastructure are now falling into place,” he added.
This represented a “virtuous circle” for UHD, and there would be two phases for UHD’s introduction. The industry was already in Phase 1 with more pixels, better codecs and a larger field of view. But this would be followed by Phase 2, starting in 2017 with “better pixels, higher dynamic range, a wider colour gamut, higher frame rates and better audio”.
Kayser said that UHD display sales were happily being bought by consumers, helped by rapidly falling prices, and would reach some 200 million units globally by 2018. “Buyers are already exposed to UHD content from the internet and movies, and we expect there will be more than 1000 channels on air by 2025.”
He quoted data that stated the US would have some 300 UHD channels by 2025, and around 220 over Europe.
As to display sales, the White Paper confirms that UHD units already account for 13 per cent of all TV shipments in 2015 (31 million units) and nearly half of all 50” and larger sets. By 2017 more than 90 per cent of all UHD unit sales will be 50” or above.
Kayser highlighted ‘Fashion One’ which went on air on Sept 1 over Europe and North America, but also noted ‘pearl tv’ an all-UHD shopping channel now broadcasting over Europe, and the upcoming launch for North America of ‘High 4K’ that goes live next week.
SES is also about to broadcast ‘Insight’, a new UHD channel from TV Entertainment Reality Network, which goes live in October, as well as SES’s own HD+ demo channel already on air.