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Satellite-delivered Ultra HD TV channels to number 820 by 2015

SES-12: one of a new generation of DTH/HTS satellites

SES-12: one of a new generation of DTH/HTS satellites

There will be more than 820 channels of Ultra HD content delivered via satellite by 2025, according to new research by Northern Sky Research (NSR).

The report predicts that DTH satellite will lead the way with some 560 4K and 8K Ultra HD channels expected to be broadcast in this way. The remaining 260 or so channels will be distributed by satellite to cable and IPTV headends.

“In years past, and with previous technological advancements relating to TV content, we have seen a number of hurdles, not least of which has been the prohibitively high cost for end-users to attain TVs suitable for new content. With HD about 15 years ago, this was a major sticking point. Conversely, with UltraHD, this hurdle is eroding quickly, with UHD compatible TV sets reducing in price to as low as US$1,000 today”, said NSR analyst and report author Alan Crisp.

“Further, NSR notes that as compared to HDTV, a number of satellite operators and DTH platforms, from regions as diverse as North America to South Asia, are investing heavily in UHD content and UHD compatible set-top boxes.”

NSR predicts that by 2025, all regions of the world will broadcast some Ultra HD content and that the next generation technology will lead to higher ARPUs and greater customer retention.

The report predicts that there will be “significant revenue growth” for Ultra HD, with more than US$370m coming from capacity leasing for this new type of content.

“In addition to being the ‘next big thing’ in TV broadcasting, UltraHD is also expected to be an important differentiator among DTH platforms. This will be the case not only in developed regions, but also in developing ones, where a few UHD channels could be the difference in attracting subscribers to the tune of tens or even hundreds of thousands, albeit at relatively lower APRUs,” said NSR.

The research added that while Ultra HD will remain a “solid niche market” in the medium term, it will likely soon develop into mainstream adoption in most developed regions.