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Research consultancy Futuresource expects a number of broadcasters to launch 4K channels during 2014. Test transmissions from the likes of SES Astra could start showcasing the technology in 2013.
Futuresource’s forecasts suggest that by 2020, the sale of 4K-equipped receivers could amount to some 15 per cent of the overall TV set market and a very healthy 29 per cent of sales of 50”+ units.
Specifically, Futuresource – which mounted a webinar on the prospects for 4K on November 28 – said that 4K cameras have been around since the introduction of the RED units in 2007, and that 4K shooting was now a well-established technique for cameraman. Hollywood has now produced around 50 movies in 4K. Additionally, classic movies, such as Lawrence of Arabia have been re-scanned in 4K.
At the prosumer end of the market, JVC has launched a 4K handheld camera priced at just £4,000, and Sony has a couple of 4K camcorder units planned for launch by NAB.
Jonathan Tustain, editor at 3D Focus, a specialist web-site, commenting on the event said: “The experts were quick to remind the listeners that many countries, especially in Eastern Europe, are still in the process of upgrading to HD, and that the reality, away from the excitement of IBC, is that there is a long way to go, and there could be an element of ‘upgrade fatigue’ setting in.”
However, Tustain added: “Broadcasters and pay-TV operators are already trialling the technology due to the need to continue innovation and maintain competitiveness. TV Globo in Brazil are very proactive in evaluating 4K thanks to the 2016 Olympics and Futuresource Consulting quoted DirecTV, Sky, Comcast, Canal + and SES Astra as all looking at the technology. In fact, a few operators are expected to launch 4K channels in 2014.”