Vivicast: Confident of further US UHD deployment

Amy Shapiro, Vivicast Media’s VP/Acquisitions, Broadcast & Syndication, speaking at the SES Ultra HD Conference in London, forecast a buoyant future for the fast-growing technology.

She told delegates that April 2016 saw DirecTV’s initial deployment of 4K/UHD channels, and Memphis-based Vivicast has since licensed a large number of titles to the pay-TV operator. “Only last week we finalised an agreement for a brand-new extreme sport series from a well-known documentary filmmaker that is specifically designed for DirecTV,” she revealed.

Shapiro explained that DirecTV’s current portfolio of UHD channels comprises one movie channel, a sport channel and the ‘general entertainment’ channel which Vivicast is helping to fill.

However, at the end of 2016, Vivicast started talking to US cable and IPTV operators to target UHD programming for them, and currently have signed up more than 25 companies to a series of trials, or pulling down signals carried by SES and these equate to over 25 million potential subscribers and which cover 90 per cent of all the paid households in the US.

“4K compatible set-top boxes are finally being made available in the US, and to date this has been a major hold up. From all of our discussions, I can see the potential for multiple cable and telco operators deploying 4K channels this year and I see more following suit in 2018. We at Vivicast are currently supplying seven UHD channels. I expect a major cable network to enter the market soon,” she concluded.

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