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GS Group plans 4K set-top launch next year

GS Group vice-president, Konstantin Axenov

GS Group vice-president, Konstantin Axenov

Russia-based GS Group expects to commercially launch 4K set-top boxes in the country from next year, according to company vice-president Konstantin Axenov. 

Speaking at the GS Summit in Saint Petersburg, Axenov said that GS Group, the technology partner for Russian pay TV provider Tricolor, will soon to support the latter’s ultra high definition ambitions with its hardware.

“We hope that we will be among the first to enter this market, as we did with our partner Tricolor… to push forward HD technology which was very, poor in the market at that point in Russia,” said Axenov.

“Now we hope to push, with our technology partner Tricolor and other partners and our own broadcasting projects, to be the first in the 4K market.”

Tricolor added some 20 HD channels to its basic TV package two and a half years ago, putting them ahead of the market, according to Mikhail Goryachev, content director of Tricolor TV, who also spoke at the GS Summit.

Last month, Tricolor teamed up with satellite operator Eutelsat to launch a 4K test channel, which is broadcast in 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution with a frame rate of 60fps, encoded in the HEVC/H.265 format.

Content for the channel so far includes coverage of opera performances, motorsports and nature documentaries. Alexey Karpov, Tricolor TV’s head of sales and customer service, said last month that he expects full commercialisation of the channel to kick off next year.