Sky UK is launching a 4K transmission service in the spring
Stephan Jukic – February 1st, 2015
According to recent and fairly reliable reports coming from the UK’s Sunday Telegraph, the Sky digital broadcasting service is supposed to be bringing its 4K content transmission service to British homes as of the spring.
If true, the report indiactes that Sky has moved its previous experiments in 4K transmission along much faster than previously expected.
Specifically, the Sunday Telegraph report explains that Sky will launch its completely new “Project Ethan” ultra HD TV set-top boxes in an effort to counter competitive threats from British Telecom’s exclusive deal to screen and transmit both the European Champions League and the Europa League football tournaments. The introduction of 4K content to these set-top boxes is part of an apparent wider trend we’re seeing develop with 4K content and the media storage devices.
The Project Ethen set-top box offers some extra benefits over the latest top of the line 1 terabyte HD units already available. It allows viewers to broadcast to several different secondary screens that can include tablets, smart phones, PCs and other TVs, obviously. Furthermore, with the Project Ethan box, users can store content online for remote access from other locations, in a sort of cloud-based content storage system.
Sky is already busy moving content towards set-top boxes, most of which consists of movies. The company claims that something like 40 to 60% of movies watched on its service each week are already pre-stored within their set-top boxes. The idea behind Project Ethan and its cloud storage infrastructure is to improve access to the latest content even further, even 4K content in households where subscribers have a 4K TV and the necessary speed in their internet connections to handle 4K transmissions and cloud based viewing.
Of course, Sky isn’t the only player on the market that’s starting to invest more effort in 4K.
Virgin Media is also involved in ultra HD development and Netflix is another player who is bringing UHD 4K content to audiences in the United Kingdom. In addition to these two well-known players, we’ll also soon be seeing 4K streams coming from other European services like Wauki.tv.
So far, Sky is sticking to a policy of secretiveness about the details of its upcoming 4K broadcasts but we can probably expect more details to emerge from an upcoming results statement that will go public as of February 4th. The company is only making it clear that they’re continuing to test and evaluate 4K technology in anticipation of their upcoming launch.
Story by 4k.com