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The broadcast industry is well placed to see an expansion of 4K Ultra HD as 2016 progresses, according to speakers at the opening session of the MIPTV 4K Ultra HD Conference Programme.
Representing a range of technology, infrastructure and programmers, the speakers revealed a growth in the availability of equipment, delivery platforms and content that would boost consumer interest and take up of 4K/Ultra HD.
Joe Nakata, Senior Producer, Sony Corporation, suggested that the company was a driver of 4K/UHD as it was involved in all elements of the value chain, with professional equipment for broadcasters through to consumer TV sets.
He noted the involvement of a range of broadcasters and Internet players in providing content, with the Hollywood studios also backing the format, with standards agrees for a range of package delivery formats. In particular, Sony had recently announced its own 4K online service.
He advised that there was an all-Japan industry initiative to accelerate 4K Ultra HD, with Mabito Yoshida, Deputy Director of the Information and Communications Bureau at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications at MIPTV to support the initiative.
Michel Chabrol, Director, Innovation Marketing at Eutelsat, gave an overview of delivery options in terms of coverage and availability, noting that OTT was the de facto platform at the present time, but there were issues of fibre roll-out and bandwidth availability. He suggested that satellite was the ideal tool for Ultra HD as it was able to offer the same quality across its coverage area.
He noted greater availability in the market of both consumer and professional equipment, with set-top boxes launched in a number of markets, aided by deployment of DVB-T2 and HEVC. Meanwhile Eutelsat was involved in a number of test or live service launches across its satellite constellation. It had also been involved in the live coverage and remote screening of a number of major sporting and religious events.
“We are healthily optimistic about 4K,” he said, noting that Eutelsat shared the same goals as other industry players and was actively promoting Ultra HD, with parties interested in collaborating with it to offer trailers and demonstration channels via its craft welcome to discuss such opportunities.
According to Mariam Zamarat, CEO of Insight TV, life is about good quality, and so is content. The channel had launched six months previously at MIPCOM and had achieved almost entire global coverage with a range of satellite partners covering both free-to-air and pay-TV, revealing that it was on the verge of announcing launches with “two or three” major pay-TV platforms in Europe. Insight was live with a test signal in the US and looking towards a Q2 launch there.
She outlined Insight’s commitment to production as well as its extensive library which was available to other players in areas it wasn’t currently active. It had also entered into a joint venture with a company that would make available 180 formats for it to produce in the next three years for distribution in the market.