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Ultra HD: a satellite operator’s perspective
6/5/2017
Although over 300 Ultra HD channels will be transmitted via satellite by 2020, there is still much to be done to ensure the format is a success.

Speaking in a presentation at Hispasat Innovation Days in London, Jorge Rodriguez, the company’s marketing manager, said that 4k device shipments are currently experiencing significant growth, while TV sets/connected TV streaming boxes dominate Ultra HD consumption.

However, penetration is still low, with North America and Western Europe seeing the highest adoption.

Rodriguez added that for operators and content providers 2017 and 2018 were critical years for both 4k adoption and 4k launches.

Moreover service providers expect extra revenues from Ultra HD services.

Currently, 69% of viewers in the Americas are prepared to pay “a little extra” for such services – defined as 10-30% more – compared to 67% in EMEA and 63% in APAC. These figures fall significantly for those willing to pay much more (over 30%): 10% in the Americas, 16% in EMEA and 13% in APAC, while a sizeable number of viewers (18% in the Americas, 13% in EMEA and 17% in APAC) are unwilling to pay any more for 4k.

Rodriguez also said that live sports continue to drive Ultra HD production and services. They were followed by early release movies and VOD.

He also outlined the main concerns for Ultra HD/HDR rollout for operators and content producers. Perhaps not surprisingly, the top one was availability of 4k/Ultra HD content (29%, 18% respectively). This was followed by supplying SD, HD, 4k and HDR variants of content (25% v 16%).

Rodriguez concluded by saying that the business/technology factors with the highest impact on 4k/Ultra HD success were likely to be headed by device capabilities, followed by available bandwidth and business case to justify investment.
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