Advanced Television

SES explains 4K expectations

February 23, 2015

By Chris Forrester

Last week’s post-results analyst’s teleconference revealed a few important points about satellite operator SES and what it expects to happen in terms of 4K broadcasting this year and next.

SES CEO Karin Michel Sabbagh told analysts that they were in ongoing conversations as regards their client’s expectations regarding 4K/UHD transmissions, and not least in terms of the audience size for 4K broadcasts. “There are number of elements that need to come into place. The very good point here to note is that once consumers are exposed to a 4K experience, the sort of statement of intent to upgrade, to transition and to purchase into that [4K] proposition is very strong,” said Sabbagh.

“The other element [in the equation] is that the standards are aligning. There are still some incremental features that could come in the next six to 12 months, but we have today the standards and the features [needed]. What is also encouraging is that the pick-up of 4K screens is moving much faster than what we had [expected].”

“We had talked about the fact that by 2020, we estimated that there would be around 200 Ultra HD channels and 100 million Ultra HD screens [in place]. And if I take the pace of what was shipped and purchased by the end of 2014, without factoring any growth, we will be already expect close to 90 million screens [in place by 2020],” said Sabbagh.

“So the elements are converging for a 2016 [UHD] reality. There are already conversations with important broadcasters about transponders that will carry Ultra HD channels.”

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