Discovery looking at 4K over ‘five-year period’, says Horta

Disovery is looking at 4K TV but it will take time to work out how to adapt content production to the new format, as was the case with 3D, according to Alberto Horta, director of new media distribution, EMEA, Discovery Communications.

Speaking on a panel session at the Digital TV World Summit this morning, Horta said: “It’s about how to produce content. You need new production techniques. We are working on it where it makes sense and we have to see how we can distribute it. The UK will probably be first, with the rest of Europe to follow.” He said Discovery was looking at a five year period.

Addressing the question of OTT, Horta said that the fragmented nature of the European market meant that the relations between OTT and pay TV operators would be different than in the US. Specifically, the difference in US and European cable subscription rates meant that the impact on pay TV in terms of cord cutting is much less in Europe, he said.

Horta said that the debate has at least now centred on professional content, with no-one any longer talking about the disruptive impact of user generated content. YouTube and other OTT platforms are now looking to professional content providers, he said.

Horta said that content providers such as Discovery had to due huge amounts of due diligence to make sure content rights were in place to match the requirements of pay TV providers in different territories. Everything from catch-up rights windows to having the right video quality on an iPad service that matched the description of an “HD service” now have to be managed, he said.