An authoritative report in the UK’s Sunday Telegraph says that Sky is bringing its launch of 4K transmissions forward dramatically to this spring. Sky, says the report, will launch its all-new ‘Project Ethan’ Ultra-HD set-top box to help counter the threat from BT’s exclusive deal to screen European Champions League and Europa League football.
The Project Ethan box offers extra advantages over today’s top-of-the-range 1 Terabyte HD unit, and will allow viewers to ‘broadcast’ to multiple second screens including tablets and smart phones, and to store content online for remote access.
Sky is already ‘pushing’ content to set-top boxes, mostly movies, and says anything between 40 per cent and 60 per cent of movies watched every week are already pre-stored within a box. Project Ethan, and ‘cloud’ storage will further improve access to content – and in 4K for those with a suitable TV set.
Virgin Media is already experimenting with 4K, while Netflix and other online video suppliers have 4K material available including movies and dramas such as House of Cards and Breaking Bad.
Sky is staying tight-lipped just at the moment, but more might emerge from its February 4th results statement. Formally, Sky is only saying that it is continuing to evaluate and test 4K technology in preparation for launch.