Global broadcasters are still taking it slowly when it comes to 4K content distribution

by on June 23, 2015

Stephan Jukic – June 23, 2015

While the online world moves ahead fairly steadily with 4K ultra HD content distribution and TV makers ramp up production like never before, global broadcasting giants, those with the most funds to invest in new technologies, remain slow and leery on 4K content.

One new study has even found that it will likely take as many as 10 years before the majority of broadcasting companies really switch over to internet protocol (IP) transmission and subsequent 4K TV adoption.

This is also something that they need to take serious notice of given that internet subscriptions are exploding while cable TV subscriptions fall off at a rapid pace, according to other recent studies done of Comcast subscriber trends and those of other companies.

Concerning the transmission of IP programming, a recent survey, done by Quantel, a media technology company and Snell, a TV management firm indicates that: only 19% of respondents believe that broadcasters will largely change over to IP transmission within 2 years, 42% of respondents believe that the change will happen within five years and 27% claimed that the more realistic timespan for broadcaster conversion to IP transmission is a decade.

Some 60% of the respondents of the Quantel/Snell survey viewed 4K TV as “relevant to the future” for the next two to five years.

The study done by the two companies involved the surveying of more than 1000 people from different social groups in 80 countries.

According to Snell’s CEO, Tim Thorsteinson, “Broadcasters and media organizations have been bombarded with IP and 4K now messages over the last year”. He also added that, “This has led to a great deal of uncertainty, which I know our customers have fed back to us time and again”.

The recent World Cup of Cricket was one of the first major sports events to be widely broadcast in 4K to audiences throughout Asia.

The recent World Cup of Cricket was one of the first major sports events to be widely broadcast in 4K to audiences throughout Asia.

The Snell CEO claims that while broadcasters do indeed see the value of 4K as a future concern, the vast majority of them simply aren’t interested in suddenly committing to the full-on infrastructure modification necessary for making 4K over IP work.

Some broadcasters, like Dish, are indeed investing in using satellite technology to deliver 4K content to subscribers, but for most, efforts in 4K programming to date have been highly sporadic and largely experimental.

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