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.” Continue reading »
The forecasts for 4K/Ultra HD take-up this year have exceeded all expectations. 2014 saw around 200,000 UHD units sold in Britain (3 per cent of the market), and this year’s forecasts could see as many as 995,000 large-format 4K sets sold. The data comes from market analyst GfK, and were presented at the SES-sponsored 4K/Ultra HD conference in London.
Astra has premiered an Ultra HD demonstration channel for UK and Ireland. The simulcast of the existing demo channel for continental Europe is being broadcast from 28.2 degrees East.
“We are delighted to have set up this demonstration channel at the prime orbital position for the UK market,” said Mike Chandler, managing director of ASTRA (GB) Ltd, SES’s subsidiary in the UK. “We are making use of the capacity to enable UK and Irish retailers, installers and enthusiasts to understand the technology that makes UHD possible, and what it will mean for their viewing experience. We encourage our trade partners to show our Ultra HD demo channel at their points of sale for demonstration purposes.”
The channel features a mix of colourful and extremely detailed scenes that demonstrate the clarity of Ultra HD television – urban sports, exotic animals and nature, cityscapes – along with footage of SES’s headquarters in Betzdorf. It can be received with a standard satellite dish connected to a state-of-the-art Ultra HD flat screen TV featuring an integrated satellite tuner and HEVC decoder.
Astra Ultra HD Frequency : Satellite: ASTRA 2E Frequency: 12.441 GHz Polarisation: Vertical Symbol Rate: 29.5 MS/s Modulation: DVB-S2 QPSK FEC: 3/4
Sky Sports are already testing the next generation of television pictures, variously known as Ultra High Definition TV or by the rather more geeky moniker of ‘4k’.
The system under test creates a picture four times better than HD and on the last day of August, Sky put together a world first: a football ground to studio to TV set ‘end-to-end’ UHDTV test transmission.
In collaboration with Sony, the West Ham v Stoke game was shot on four UHDTV cameras and a special HD camera, and shown to a select audience at its London HQ.
The Sky trial is the first to use satellites that are also available for commercial purposes to send images around the country – and while there are no specific plans to launch a commercial service at a specific date, Japanese broadcasters have already announced that they will transmit the World Cup final live from Brazil in ultra-high definition. Sky won’t want to be behind.
Should Sky start to use Ultra HD, then you will require a new Sky box, as Ultra HD will not work on your currently SkyHD digibox.
Japan will start the world’s first 4K TV broadcast in July 2014, two years earlier than originally planned.
According to the Asahi Times, the Japanese ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has decided to start broadcasting in 4k during the finals of the football World Cup in Brazil in July 2014.
The first broadcasts will be transmitted via the country’s communication satellites rather than via the direct broadcast satellites.
However, usage of BS satellites is planned at a later stage. Originally, the Japanese were planning to launch 4K broadcast in 2016.
The move to bring the world’s first regular 4K broadcasts” forward is intended to boast 4K television set sales. The UltraHD televisions are now on sale by Japanese makers including Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba and Sharp as well as from Korean manufacturers such as LG.