Eutelsat: “UHD not as successful as we hoped”
March 25, 2022
By Chris Forrester
Eutelsat’s Cristiano Benzi, SVP Global/Professional Video, speaking during the satellite operator’s Webinar on UHD and its prospects, stated that “UHD was not as successful as Eutelsat had hoped”. Out of some 7,000 channels carried by Eutelsat only 34 are currently in UHD.
Benzi said that on Eutelsat’s important Hot Bird satellite position, there were almost 900 channels; 425 were in Standard Definition, 457 were in High Definition and just 14 (2 per cent) were in Ultra HD. However, he remained optimistic given that 4K production was increasingly common and the costs of UHD production were now less expensive than a year or two ago.
“There is more production in 4K but it is frustrating for us that there are not more channels on air, but we realise that building a 4K eco-system is a challenge,” said Benzi.
Paul Gray, Omdia’s senior research manager, said that UHD households were growing steadily, commenting: “There is a very strong uptake from viewers [for 4K sets]. The sets increasingly offer High Dynamic Range and deep colour and are in the market. We have moved from more pixels to better pixels.”
Gray said by 2024 sales of UHD sets will top 50 per cent of all those sold in Western Europe.
Benjamin Schwarz, Communications Chair of the UHD Forum, remained extremely optimistic telling the Webinar that UHD was making progress and now increasingly with next-generation and immersive audio included in the ability of TV sets.
“We recognise more than 430 million potential subscribers to 309 services [where broadcasters are offering UHD],” he commented.
Schwarz explained that HDR10 was offered by 15.3 per cent of operators, and Hybrid Log Gamma on offer from 22.1 per cent. Dolby Vision was now offered by 10 per cent of broadcasters, and these options were growing in enthusiasm from viewers.