SES says it expects Europe to be an early adopter of Ultra-HD. Certainly the IBC halls are awash with live – or near-live – test transmissions of 4K for TV (3840 x 2160 pixels). Ferdinand Kayser, SES’s CCO, told journalists that sales of Ultra-HD displays were currently modest, but would pick up over the next year or two. SES is demonstrating a pair of Ultra-HD channels using HEVC for IBC which are transmitting from 19.2 deg East. One of the channels, set up with Fraunhofer HHI, is transmitting using HEVC at higher frame rates.
Kayser, using IHS Electronics & Media data, said: “Europe will be an early adopter of Ultra-HDTV, and see around 111 million displays in use by 2025.” Perhaps Kayser’s most attractive statistic was that the Middle East & Africa would generate around 30 million units (by 2025) and 58 million sales in Latin America. The US and Canada would have around 75 million Ultra HD sets in place by 2025, but China would top that with 122 million.
He added that SES expected Europeans preference for ever-larger screens would make Europe “the most attractive market” for early Ultra HD service launches.” UHD display sales – in Western Europe – would achieve 37 per cent penetration by 2025.
Eutelsat and Intelsat are also showcasing 4K at IBC, while just about every heavyweight hardware, software and display vendor is also demonstrating 4K kit. Japan’s NHK is also showing its Super Hi-Vision 8K transmission system, and is happy to talk about the impact the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will make on the world’s demand for high-resolution footage from the Games.