Romain Bausch, CEO at Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES, was very specific on the likely roll-out of 4K/Ultra-HD services. Speaking to analysts following on from its November 8th results, Bausch said SES was extremely confident about 4K happening. While test services are already up and running on its satellites, Bausch said that he expected 4K broadcasts for consumers to happen from 2014.
“We are confident about the prospects for Ultra-HD, and repeat that we see the commercial launch beginning to happen from 2014 and see content availability improving over the second part of this decade. We see full deployment of Ultra-HD by about 2020. The broadcasters are strongly supporting this and with equipment manufacturers and satellite operators as well. We expect revenues to start flowing from Ultra-HD around 2016 or so. We see soccer and the Rio Olympics being major drivers for 2016 and the take-up of Ultra-HDTV,” said Bausch.
Asked specifically whether the addition of 4K/Ultra-HD would mean SES transmitting much the same programming in Standard Definition, HDTV and 4K/Ultra-HD, Bausch said: “We see our customers taking up Ultra-HD and this being done at much the same time as our customers phase out their Standard Digital services. We do not see this as a zero-sum gain, even though our customers will use some of their own freed-up capacity for Ultra-HD. Our model is a net-plus model. Ultra-HD requires more bandwidth which is a problem for any terrestrial infrastructure. At 19.2 and 28 2 we have about 20 per cent of unused satellite capacity as headroom for those clients wanting to launch Ultra-HDTV services.”