“All main operators working with 4K” According to declaration at Satellite 2016

by on March 14, 2016

Stephan Jukic – March 14, 2016

The Satellite 2016 trade convention in Washington last week played host to a stated determination to move forward 4K ultra HD video transmission on the part of numerous broadcast industry players.

According to a recent report by, Panelists at the Satellite trade event confirmed their faith in 4K Ultra HD and some of them even went as far as to suggest that 8K transmission is actually closer down the pipeline than many might suspect.

The strategic project manager at Ericsson, Richard Bullock, told a number of delegates that inquiries on 4K had dropped off over 2015 and part of 2014 since the Brazil World Cup nearly two years ago but also affirmed that “we are waiting for the next wave of enthusiasm to come back and hit us.” This is expected to happen sometime in 2016 according to him.

As for DirecTV’s Phil Gozwitz, the SVP for space & communications R&D at the company, well he’s a firm backer of 4K UHD and claims that the market will definitely take off. However, he explained that some broadcasters are still skeptical from the fallout created by the failure of 3D TV earlier in the decade. He further elaborated that this degree of uncertainty is quite normal for any new technology and that it plays a part in 4K development, which is on the leading edge of commercial entertainment display/video technology: “This is what it’s like to be on the leading edge. Even within the same company there are people with differing opinions. All of the main operators are working in 4K, either with OTT or satellite. 4K is here and it is all about content providers to make the investment,” according to remarks by Gozwitz.

The DirecTV executive further noted that the 4K ecosystem also requires the cooperation and alignment of R&D in several different industries for it to develop more fully. “There will be leaders in every element and, as with HDTV, the leaders will drive the dynamic and the cause and the propagation of technology.”


All of these roadblocks and efforts aside, many of the Satellite 2016 panelists apparently agree that at least5 to 10 transponders with 4K content dedication would be in place on a typical DTH satellite by 2020 and Gozwitz in particular claimed that as many as 50 to 70 4K ultra HD channels will be on-air by then.

DirecTV itself is currently the first U.S media giant to have moved towards a full-time 4K satellite broadcast channel, which it will start off with a Golf broadcast from the Masters National golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia between the 7th and 10th of April, next month. In this particular event, network operator CBS will station 4K cameras at select holes during select rounds of the game and transmit the video from 10:30 am to 6pm for the benefit of 4K TV owning viewing audiences, through DirecTV transmissions.

With this actual consumer event, DirecTV is at least showing some consumer-tangible initiative in 4K broadcast development. For many other satellite and broadcast operators, 4K technology has been more of a discussion subject with little to show for their claims at least as far as real-world viewers are concerned. At the same time, streaming OTT providers of entertainment services have moved ahead with UHD entertainment at a much faster pace.

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