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2016: The year for 4K

The huge MIPTV programming market in Cannes this coming week (April 4-7) will see three days of intense focus on 4K/UHD programming. Indeed, it is now clear that 2016 is likely to be the year when 4K does begin to break through to viewers around the world. The constant stream of positive news for 4K is inescapable.

Sky in the UK says it will launch later this summer. Spain’s C+ has just launched a 4K set-top box. Canal Plus is well ahead with its plans. Orange TV in France is about to unveil its latest – extremely sexy – set-top box which is very much 4K-enabled. Italy (both Sky and RAI) is gathering plenty of 4K footage, while Spain is testing and trialling 4K.  Even the UK’s BBC is creating UHD programming and testing advanced versions of UHD (in particular high-dynamic range and hybrid log-gamma technology). BT has been in operation with 4K for almost a year.

The USA’s DirecTV has had (downloadable) 4K material on offer for months and will start 4K transmissions soon, while many cable operators are ramping up availability of 4K material. Canada is moving rapidly forward with UHD, and Videotron has just launched its 4K box.  Of course, Netflix and Amazon Prime have been backing the new broadcasting paradigm for the best part of a year. And of course, Japan and South Korea have been transmitting 4K programming for almost a year.  Even broadcasters in India are embracing 4K, although the transmissions have had limited reach.

But the slew of broadcasters and producers showcasing 4K at MIPTV this coming week is impressive. Visitors to MIPTV will see show regulars NHK and the BBC showcase their impressive UHD material, including the latest photography from the BBC’s high-profile One Planet factual series. Brazil’s Globo will showcase footage from their recent coverage of Rio’s spectacular Mardi Gras carnival (actually down-converted from 8K) as well as clips of football and drama output, while Saint Thomas Productions (France) and Atlantic Productions (UK) will highlight their latest offerings.

Advanced Television is MIPTV’s Media Partner for the UHD sessions. We’ll be carrying regular updates from the show, including all the very latest 4K news and reports.

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