The Promise and Perils of Ultra HD
Once a format in search of a market, Ultra HD is showing the early signs of broader adoption. The first company to roll out Ultra HD was not a broadcaster or satellite TV company but Netflix. DirecTV got into the game with the launch of UHD channels, and companies from BBC and Canal+ to Echostar and Eutelsat are conducting serious demonstration projects. SES CCO Ferdinand Kayser told an audience at IBC 2015 that the company expects there to be 220 UHD channels over Europe by 2025. The stakes are high for the satellite industry, because the adoption of Ultra HD should drive greater demand for bandwidth in contribution, distribution and satellite TV, though advances in compression will inevitably limit how much bandwidth is really required. In this panel, customers and service providers discuss what early experience with trials and deployment is telling us about the future of Ultra HD, what issues and challenges confront the market, and what we can expect in the years ahead.