Liberty Global: set-top boxes will be 4K-ready next year

Liberty Global CTO, Balan Nair

Liberty Global CTO, Balan Nair

Liberty Global set-top boxes will be 4K capable beginning next year, according to chief technology officer Balan Nair.

Speaking on the operator’s fourth quarter and full year 2015 earnings call yesterday, Nair said that from next year Liberty will be ready for 4K “when the content catches up.”

However, CEO Mike Fries struck a cautious tone about the Ultra High Definition standard, claiming Liberty Global is still in “wait and see mode”.

“In terms of video pricing, I don’t know whether 4K is going to make material difference,” said Fries. “We haven’t taken any action today per se to anticipate meaningful consumption of 4K.”

Fries said that while 4K will be “more impactful than 3D” Liberty Global was “still in the early stages of knowing what that might mean to us” and that more 4K content would need to come through.

Elsewhere on the earnings call, Fries said that Europe is developing into a quad-play market amd Liberty is “committed to convergence across our business”.

This follows this week’s agreement between Vodafone and Liberty Global to merge their Dutch operations, forming forming a 50-50 joint venture that will combine Ziggo’s fibre broadband network with Vodafone’s mobile operations.

Earlier this month, Liberty Global-owned Telenet also completed its acquisition of Belgian mobile operator BASE Company.

“We will continue to be opportunistic and disciplined in terms of how we look at the mobile opportunity in each particular market. It’s too soon to say what we might do in any one market except that we feel good about the strategy we are pursuing today,” said Fries.

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