Hitbox wants to offer the world’s 500 million eSports streaming fans 4K resolution.
Stephan Jukic – July 31, 2015
The eSports market is huge. Currently worth some $3.8 billion dollars, this massive live video delivery market has become a major business for services like Google, Amazon and Netflix, among others.
Now, the relatively small startup Hitbox wants to take things to the next level by converting as many of these millions of viewers into fans of eSports streaming in 4K ultra HD resolution.
This isn’t an easy task by any means but Martin Klimscha, CEO and co-founder of the Hitbox service thinks that 4K is the definite future of eSports and gaming video. The resolution, which offers 4 times the detail and pixels of Full HD, is a rapidly developing technology. Furthermore, TVs and internet connections which support it are becoming more numerous than ever.
Since many sports events are already shown on gigantic jumbotrons in stadiums around the world in 4K resolution, Klimscha thinks that game and sport fans would definitely want that same sort of 4K display clarity experience in their own homes via live video streaming.
According to Klimscha, “Gaming is about immersion, blurring the line between a screen and reality…. In running 4K at 60 frames per second, high-paced games really come to life”.
So far, none of the major consoles, ranging between the Sony PlayStation 4, The Xbox One from Microsoft and others, support 4K gaming. Nvidia’s Android TV-powered Shield does along with many newer PCs and their monitors and the interest in 4K is also definitely there among many eSports developers, game makers and producers. Furthermore, given that 4K TV shipments have jumped 600% in the last year, a central hub for 4K gaming content is a major possible market.
Klimscha sees that research indicates 50% penetration of homes for 4K TV by 2019 or 2020 and many PCs already ship with 4K output standards built into them. Thus, the biggest hurdle is now content and content delivery. With an estimated 1.9 billion video game players in the world today, only 205 million are shown to be involved with livestreaming but that number is also growing quickly and this is a huge potential market for multiple providers to robustly compete in delivering gaming and streamed sports video in full ultra HD resolution.
Hitbox itself is in the midst of some tough competition from players which already work actively in the 4K content market. Amazon-owned Twitch has over 100 million monthly viewers as of last counting in 2014 and YouTube has an estimated 78 million gaming subscribers.
However, neither of these companies has fused its 4K projects with their gaming content deliver yet and Hitbox wants to beat them to the punch in this area, since the company already delivers a 4K picture quality and some of the lowest latency on the web. Currently, the company’s 6 million subscribers are a tiny fraction of the above numbers but they offer a solid 4K-oriented base at least.
Story by 4k.com