4K Ultra HD satellite to explode in the next decade: Over 785 new channels to come online
Stephan Jukic – March 30, 2016
According to a new report from Northern Sky Research (NSR), Expansion of 4K ultra HD resolution content channels will grow enormously across DTH, Cable TV and IPTV platforms over the next decade in the wake of what the research company calls the “2016 Inflection Point”.
NSR has today released their Ultra HD via Satellite, 3rd Edition report on the future of ultra HD 4K resolution via satellite and other mediums and the company identifies 2016 as a key inflection point for the development and rollout of 4K content through satellite transmission. With this as a fundamental tenet of the report, the company predicts that over 785 new ultra HD channels will be available to consumers worldwide by 2025 and also that the satellite capacity necessary for transmitting bandwidth hungry 4K content channels will feed more than $280 million dollars in annual leasing revenues.
Even though commercial 4K UHD channels have been available to select consumer markets in East Asia for more than a year now, the new format is still expanding its geographic presence in linear TV platforms. Furthermore, the NSR report states that by 2017, almost all of the world’s major regions will have at least one or two Ultra HD channels available for consumer use, and that even developing markets will see content and 4K channels by the end of this decade.
Furthermore, the rapidly falling price of 4K UHD TV sets is accelerating the interest in and demand for the new resolution format in entertainment, causing 4K TV penetration rates to rise even faster than was the case for conventional HDTV technology when it initially emerged.
According to Alan Crisp, NSR analyst and author of the report, “Given the exponential increases we’ve seen on 4K TV shipments, introducing Ultra HD channels and packages is a key strategy to retain and grow pay TV subscriber bases in an increasingly competitive environment. Additionally, this is a vital competitive response to OTT platforms’ ever expanding online content catalogues”.
He further explained that “While in the short term DTH, Cable TV and IPTV platforms will offer Ultra HD for ‘free’ with existing premium channel bundles, longer term Ultra HD will achieve higher revenue streams generated by increasing ARPUs and subscriber levels.”
Today, 4K ultra HD remains a fairly small part of the video entertainment market and only about 1% of channels offer the resolution but for this 1% of market share, the impact of 4K on the bottom line of pay TV platforms and satellite operators has been disproportionately large both directly and indirectly.
However, short term ROI difficulties for broadcast implementation of 4K do remain and this has in part been responsible for weak investment in the growth of this medium. Nonetheless, UHD is expected to pay out major dividends long terms to pay TV broadcasters and will continue to expand at a fast rate thanks also to OTT (streaming) 4K content growth with services like Netflix or Amazon, which indirectly helps the future of broadcast 4K TV growth by creating an existing content market around which 4K TV sales can be moved along.
NSR’s own report states the matter of 4K broadcast content platform growth in this perspective: By 2025, those without 4K capacity in the broadcast industry will be viewed the same way in which current SD-only content platforms are viewed by many users, far behind the cutting edge of consumer technology.
Story by 4k.com