Friday, June 10, 2016

Ready or not, 4K’s on its way

It hasn’t gotten to the point where you’re going to be shunned by the neighbors if you’re not watching 4K UHD TV, but there’s no question that the new, improved viewing technology is taking big steps toward becoming part of the home entertainment mainstream.

While obstacles to mass adoption exist – among them a lack of content ubiquity and perceptions of incompatibility between 4K UHD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) – there are plenty of indications that 4K is poised for take-off. Service providers in Canada and South Korea have been particularly ambitious in leveraging 4K as a product differentiator.

Charles Meubus, senior director of video technology at Videotron, talked recently about how deploying 4K set-top boxes “future proofs our installed base.” Said Meubus at Light Reading’s Big Communications Event: “These set-tops” – which leverage Alticast’s expertise in middleware and UI enablement – “provide an exceptional end-user experience.”

Our own Jae Park added that deployment of 4K STBs in the South Korean market has exceeded expectations, and has spurred competition among multiple service providers.  Importantly, Park said that the South Korean experience was showing that – despite industry concerns – “we find 4K and HDR to complement each other.”

In this report on the Big Communications Event panel, Light Reading’s Brian Santo convey the panelists’ opinion that “little is going to impede the growth of the 4K market for long.”

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