India sticks with 4K

Initial reports out of India suggest that sales of high-end 4K displays are somewhat sluggish, despite the appeal of non-stop cricket being the backbone of Ultra-HD broadcasts. India’s Star Sports is making the eight available 4K cricket feeds to pay-TV operators Tata-Sky and Videocon d2h. An estimated 90,000 4K sets were sold last year.

But there have been snags. There are not many 4K set-top boxes available in the market, and undoubtedly the high-costs of buying large-screen displays have put some consumers off.

According to a local Samsung sales person, quoted by India’s Business World magazine: “We have seen a decent amount of interest from the consumer in 4K televisions and as they become more affordable, the consumer will vouch for them and demand 4K content which the broadcasters will have to provide in due time.”

Anil Khera, CEO at Videocon d2h said “While there are other service providers that have set-top boxes, we are the first to launch a platform for content in 4K UHD. The World Cup will have some matches in 4K UHD, and the channel will air the India matches and the semi-final and final.”

That shortage of content is now being overcome. Local sources say that the upcoming Indian Premier League (cricket), complete with its top prize of $2.4 million, will generate extra enthusiasm. Match 1 (Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians) takes place on April 8th, and the final in the competition will be on May 24th. Adding to the excitement is the Indian Super League (ISL) football championships which will likely be produced in 4K according to local reports.

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