Media commentator Andrew Neil has predicted that Sky’s new premium-level pay-TV offering Sky Q will be the development that kick starts the market for Ultra HD TV.
Delivering a ‘State of the Industry’ keynote address at the SES Satellite Monitor event in London, Neil, the launch Chairman of the original Sky DTH service in the UK in the late 1980s, noted that the expanded pay-TV platform was still leading technological innovation, with its three-tier offering in the UK: an entry-level OTT service NOW TV; the mid-tier HD service with two types of STB, but now with the ‘new kid on the block’ being the new premium service, Sky Q, its Ultra HD-ready platform, for the UHD service to be launched later this year.
“It’s going to be the most comprehensive UHD service. It’ll be the ‘kick-start’ that UHD needs. There’s been a kind of confusion in the market place about UHD TV which I still think is the next big thing,” he told delegates. “I think the Sky Q box is going to be the development that concentrates consumer attention on UHD TV.”
Mike Chandler, Managing Director of ASTRA (GB), noted that awareness of UHD TV in the UK was up at 48 per cent (39 per cent), driven by a lot of activity in newspapers, magazines and retailers. Despite a decline in sales, he noted an increasing proportion and growth rate of sales of UHD-compatible devices and sets. “That for us is good news; it’s great news for the future, and that will mean greater interest particularly for Sky as it introduces its new Sky Q services which will be Ultra HD compatible.”