Deutsche Telekom to Roll Out 4K Broadcast Channels for European Customers

by on April 12, 2017

Stephan Jukic – April 12, 2017

The progress of 4K ultra HD OTT programming isn’t confined to just one continent and just as it’s advancing in North America and Asia, so too for Europe.

The broadcast and OTT services provider Deutsche Telekom is working on unveiling a new roster of 4K ultra HD channels later in 2017 as part of its Entertain TV service and this should give many European owners of 4K and 4K HDR TVs some broad new home entertainment options in native ultra HD resolution.

The announcement of the new services by the German telecom giant was made earlier in the week at the MIPTV even in Cannes, France. According to Peter Kirchoff, VP of content at Deutsche, the company’s plan is to launch between two and four 4K UHD channels at first and then expand these service offerings to a total of eight UHD channels into 2018 and beyond. Deutsche Telekom AG, which also happens to be listed on the NYSE as DT, will furthermore be experimenting with Virtual Reality services down the road. All of these of course mean that bandwidth will be a major factor of the upcoming expansion.

DT is already a provider of limited 4K content offerings through its online VoD service, “Videoload” but this is a limited service that falls far short of delivering full linear 4K channels via set-top box.

DT's existing Videoload VoD service with 4K content offerings

DT’s existing Videoload VoD service with 4K content offerings

The DT service will at least initially be offered to the German market, in which some 3 million homes already own 4K UHD TVs. Furthermore, at this time, 1 in 4 new TVs bought by consumers are 4K models, further expanding the potential market for the company’s new 4K channel services.

This effort by DT represents a single aspect of a wider effort by major broadcasters and set-top entertainment providers to expand into delivery of both live and canned 4K content. In the U.K, services like Sky and BT Sport have started delivering growing selections of movies, live sportscasts and other content offerings in ultra HD resolution to their subscribers. BT Sport in particular has pursued ultra HD content delivery aggressively in the UK, with live soccer matches from the Champions League, English Premier League, FA Cup matches and the Europa League being offered in between offerings of 4K movies, TV shows and content from services like Netflix as well.

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