SES Ultra HD Conference Preview: ‘The 4K Technologists’

June 12, 2019

By Stuart Boorn, Head of Portfolio Management, MediaKind

With all the interest in over-the-top (OTT) services bubbling across the media and entertainment landscape, it is worth remembering that satellite is still the dominant platform for the delivery of premium 4K/UHD content globally. Canal Plus UHD, Nasa TV, FunBox 4K and others continue to pioneer the delivery of high-quality content on a global scale. In key areas such as premium sport and first release movies, satellite delivery provides a secure and reliable platform able to deliver 4K quality without the need for underlying broadband connectivity.

Satellite technology is evolving in new and exciting ways. For instance, over 100 hours of live 8K content was produced and delivered live over satellite and video-on-demand (VOD) channels during the recent Roland-Garros French Open tennis tournament. We are also now beginning to see innovative TV Service Providers developing hybrid services that mix the reliability and higher bandwidths offered by downstream satellite services with the flexibility of OTT for adding on-demand content and interactivity.

With 5G technology taking a more prominent role in the short-term and medium-term future, the media landscape could be moving towards a time where households can gain access to all types of linear, streamed and on-demand content without the need for deep investment in broadband. This will prove to be an exciting prospect for emerging markets around the world.

In terms of content production and distribution workflows, the maturity of the satellite ecosystem means that broadcasters can easily build viable commercial services. The stability of key service providers and operators provides a low risk route to market.

Both traditional and new TV service providers are looking at developing areas such as packaging and distribution, in order to leverage cloud technologies and SaaS models which can lower cost and complexity. This is helping us to develop and utilize new efficient workflows and technologies that drive operational efficiencies.

Satellite is here to stay, and the welcomed evolution of the technology makes it a delivery platform that is perfectly suited for the future. A Platform not just for UHD/4K, but also other exciting ‘bandwidth hungry’ use cases such as 8K, VR and 360-degree video that are now entering the market.

Tomorrow (June 13, 15:50) I will be discussing the evolution of ‘The 4K Technologists’ alongside an industry-leading panel of speakers at the SES Ultra HD Conference in London, including:

  • Ian Trow, Media, Network and Security Consultant
  • Peter Sykes, Strategic Technology Development Manager, Sony Professional Solutions Europe
  • Mark Wilson-Dunn, Consultant

At a time when 4K display sales are at a record high and individual channel broadcasts in UHD are gathering pace both in Europe and North America, it is an exciting time for our industry – particularly with the advent of the Olympic Games and European Football Championships approaching next year. As the drive towards more natural, compelling and immersive viewing experiences intensifies, now is the time to continue build unique offerings and unlock the potential of UHD for everyone, everywhere.