4K UHD TV programming coming in 2016 to expand by “tenfold” according to Vizio exec
Stephan Jukic – January 1st, 2016
For all of you who’ve bought a 4K ultra HD TV from one of the big brands at some point in 2015 and are now scratching around for whatever native UHD content you can find, don’t despair. 2016 will be a bigger year for the medium than 2015 was for sure, at least according to the latest from Matt McRae, the chief technology officer for TV maker Vizio, the same company which has created the popular and well-rated Vizio M-Series, P-Series and now Reference-Series and D-Series 4K UHD TVs.
Currently, the 4K UHD entertainment content landscape in North America consists mainly of a growing but still relatively small selection of movies, documentaries, programming and other videos from assorted VOD and streaming providers which include Netflix, Amazon.com, Vudu, M-Go, Sony’s home video network and Ultraflix among others.
Furthermore, there are also soon-to-arrive services being expected from Dish Network, which has announced the launch of a 4K satellite and plans to start transmitting even live 4K content in 2016. Furthermore, DirecTV is expected to start putting out a new major 4K service. Both of these will be ready in early to mid-2016.
However, despite plans for major growth, all of these combined offer selections of 4K home entertainment which are completely dwarfed by the Full HD video available on the market. Yes, 4K UHD TVs can do a spectacular job of upscaling native HD and even non-HD content so it looks much better than it would in a normal non-4K TV but this obviously isn’t the same as knowing you’re seeing real native 4K ultra HD at 3840 x 2160 pixels.
That said, more of the real good stuff, the native 4K video, will be coming in 2016. Possibly not from the still leery broadcast networks but definitely from other sources.
According to Tim Bajarin, a tech analyst at Creative Strategies, “it’s the chicken and egg thing…. There haven’t been enough 4K TVs sold to warrant the investment from the broadcast networks”. He is of course referring to the fact that of all the 4K content currently available, virtually none of it is yet actually coming to consumers from a broadcast cable source.
However, according to McRae, at Vizio, “that will change in the middle of 2016.”
McRae points out that just in the last year and a half or so, the amount of 4K programming which is available has “gone up tenfold”. But he points out that this quantity is “still tenfold over a small number. You’ll see another tenfold this year , and you’ll see a tremendous amount of 4K content coming from the studios.”
In other words, for those who are ready for the 4K content revolution and in the meantime enjoying the assorted other benefits of their 4K UHD TVs., The growth in native 4K video will indeed be an exponential thing in the coming year.
However, as far as broadcast and cable providers of content go. We shouldn’t hold our breath for major 4K services from them until the percentage of 4K TVs in homes reaches something like 35 to 40%, according to McRae. Currently, the number of 4K TVs in North American homes sits at just over 5%.
Nonetheless, while this is a small number. Its growth has also been expanding almost exponentially and that could mean very major and rapid shifts in UHD TV ownership over the next year and into 2017.
During this time, those who are already moving ahead of the mainstream curve to offer native 4K content via satellite or OTT streaming or via hard media discs like the upcoming 4K UHD Blu-ray format, will gain a certain edge over the broadcast providers for those consumers who also want to be at the forefront of home entertainment technologies with the 4K TVs they’ve bought or are planning on acquiring.
This of course has never been easier or more affordable to do either. Currently, 4K UHD TVs are finally hitting prices well below the $1000 line and some sets by none other than Vizio are selling for less than $600.
Story by 4k.com