Advanced Television

Ultra-HD: 135 channels by 2017

October 4, 2012

By Chris Forrester

Ultra HDTV, the ‘next generation’ broadcasting standard should see test channels launched next year, says Credit Suisse in a report for clients.

The investment bank, which used its report to examine the state of health of Europe’s satellite industry, said the 3840 x 2160 pixel transmissions (8.3 megapixels) were good news for satellite operators in that it would lead to a greater demand on satellite bandwidth. It could also lead to greater demand from the pay-TV industry which is expected to lead the adoption of the new broadcasting technology.

Credit Suisse says that broadcasters in the US and Europe would be starting their roll-out of U-HD in 2015-16. “We forecast 5 Ultra HD (4k) channels in 2013 9estimated) growing to 135 by the end of 2017 (estimated). From the HDTV launch in the late 1990s/early 2000s the number of HDTV channels grew to 548 in 2010, after roughly 10 years, and reached 797 by the end of 2011.”

The bank says that the roll-out, and take-up, of U-HD is likely to be speedier than that of HDTV. “In the early 2000s when HDTV was launched,” says the bank’s report, “a lot of consumers were still watching analogue TV. Analogue customers cannot watch HDTV, even if they have an HDTV set, which reduced customer uptake and the initial willingness among broadcasters to invest in HDTV. We believe all SD customers will be able to add Ultra HD programming if they have an Ultra HDTV set in the same way as they can currently watch HDTV programming.”

“The replacement cycle of TV sets is now around 6 years, shorter than the 10 year replacement cycle when HDTV was launched at the end of 1990s/in the early 2000s; this could drive a quicker uptake as the penetration of Ultra HDTV sets of households will be quicker.”

Categories: Articles, Broadcast, DTH/Satellite, UHD