French pay-TV channel Canal+ has launched an Ultra-HD test channel. The channel is broadcasting on Astra 1L satellite but not accessible to subscribers, according to French daily Telesatellite.
Canal+, which has officially confirmed a UHD simulcast of its premium pay TV channel for 2016 – coinciding with the launch of a new Cube STB – is currently using the 4K channel for broadcast experiments courtesy of its technical teams.
In 2016, the Canal+ UHD channel is set to offer the same schedules as Canal+ HD but not all programmes will be in UHD native. Canal+ plans first to focus on UHD versions of cinema and sport contents as well as its original TV series for the channel.
Operator Canalsat is also said to be in discussions with networks with regards to adding UHD versions of their channels to its bundles.
In France, 210,000 households are already equipped to receive UHD contents and GfK research institute forecasts 800,000 4K TV sets will be sold this year.