4K broadcasting has arrived to India and a number of other markets

by on March 30, 2015

by Stephan Jukic – March 30, 2014

4K broadcast content, the most difficult to encounter among the types of 4K programming that exist today, is making forward steps in a lot of scattered markets. One of these is the enormous Indian audience landscape and we’re soon going to be seeing 4K broadcasting appear there in a way that will inevitably also occur all over the world as well.

For starters, both the Indian broadcasting giant Tata Sky, and Videocon d2h have been getting their feet wet on 4K with the recent live broadcasts of the ICC Cricket World Cup matches in 4K resolution to select public audiences throughout Southeast Asia, including India. Both operators already run a wide array of Full HD channels and now also have a single 4K UHD channel each at their disposal.

Both channels are still a bit limited and the 4K channel run by Videocon currently plays only a small selection of repetitive content, but this is quickly in the process of changing.

As for Tata Sky’s service, the same applies and the company’s 4K channel has a selection of varying 4K content provided by the Discovery Network running. This content includes nature and science documentaries.

However, once again, both media companies are also doing live broadcasts of the 2015 Cricket World Cup in full 4K and only recently played the India-Bangladesh quarter-final match in the ultra HD resolution.

The bottom line here for these two broadcasters in India is that for the first time in that country and in most of the world, there is actual 4K broadcast content available to watch on a UHD TV from home without resorting to streaming web sources of UHD from services like Netflix or Amazon Prime (which isn’t available in India anyhow).

This content not only consists of actual live sports broadcasts but also includes the aforementioned 4K Discovery programming and select match replays from the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Furthermore, more sports programming and content in general are on their way, especially in Southeast Asia.

Technology heavyweights like Cisco are helping the development of India's 4K broadcasting services

Technology heavyweights like Cisco are helping the development of India’s 4K broadcasting services

The most ambitious plans of them all belong to Japan, where a consortium of private and public broadcasters has begun working on big plans for broadcasting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics not only in widespread mass-audience 4K transmissions but also in the still highly experimental 8K resolution.

The same process is being developed on a (for now) smaller scale in other major markets and in both the U.S and Europe, companies like the Dish Network and Sky Germany are actively developing their own 4K broadcast services whose ultimate debt will almost certainly come in the form of audience-drawing major sporting events. Both of these companies are working on satellite broadcasting technology as a vehicle for getting their 4K content channels to audiences regardless of their local web connectivity or geographical location.

While the frontiers of 4K content streamed over the web have expanded considerably and are becoming quite well developed, we’re now finally also seeing real progress with mainstream broadcasts of ultra HD programming. This is only going to grow exponentially just as it did with HD content but at a much faster pace.

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