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CSS: VR and 4K to dominate at IBC

Virtual reality VR Edinburgh Digital Entertainment FestivalVirtual reality and 4K video will be among the major themes at IBC this year, according to research firm CCS Insight.

According to CCS’s research note, until 2018 most people’s first experience of 4K TV services will come from web and telecom players, not traditional broadcasters.

“Brands from the telecom industry, such as BT, and those from the web, such as Netflix, are offering the majority of viewers their first access to 4K programming,” said Paolo Pescatore, director of multiplay and media at CCS Insight.

“Traditional TV networks are failing to take up 4K technology. They are hamstrung by mandates to continue supporting older broadcast methods, and have been slow to realise the commercial benefits of 4K services.”

On the VR front, Pescatore predicted that by the end of 2016 all major new movies have a 360-degree trailer, distributed on platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

He also noted that the TV industry is “clearly excited by the potential of virtual reality”, and that this will be underlined by a high volume of demonstrations at the event.“Many broadcasters are still experimenting with virtual reality technology but we are now starting to see the first signs of commercial services centred on sporting events.”

Other future developments predicted by CCS include: Netflix will launch a movie download service in the US within the next year; BT will buy ITV’s Studios arm by 2018 in a bid to broaden its content rights position beyond sport; and set-top boxes in the future will go virtual as service providers “exploit their network assets to offer users a truly ‘TV everywhere’ service.”