Executives at Eutelsat have suggested that 2015 will be the year of 4K/Ultra-HD, driven by increased affordability of sets, greater availability of content and ongoing standardisation.
The comments, which mark the operator’s growing confidence in adoption of the technology, were made at an awards ceremony in Rome.
Italian state broadcaster RAI’s pioneering work in 4K/UHD was recognised for two original co-productions in the format – La Bohème, a co-production by RAI-COM/DBW Communication and Rossini, by Lina Wertmüller, a co-production by RAI Strategie Tecnologiche.
Eutelsat Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer Michel Azibert said “2015 will be the year of this new technology” noting that compatible TV sets were available at sub- €1,000 prices, new channels were being launched and VoD services were emerging.
“All the standardisation is pretty much achieved. It will be a new technology where satellite will play a dominant role,” said Azibert.
Michel Chabrol, Eutelsat’s Innovation Marketing Director, said that the satellite operator wasn’t changing its strategy in term of 4K/UHD, but recognised a growing emphasis from its broadcast partners and customers in adopting the format.
Speaking at the IBC broadcast technology show in mid-September, Markus Fritz, Eutelsat’s Director of Commercial Development and Marketing, expressed a more cautious note, suggesting that any such launches were dependent on business models being developed.
“The content is waiting, but operators must consider their return on investment. We will continue to work with them on trials to gain insights,” he said, adding that to succeed, UHD needed pay-TV platforms to adopt it as a differentiator.