While many industry observers have expected that it would be several years before pay TV providers could deliver programming in the new 4K Ultra HD format, Comcast is running a demonstration here at The Cable Show this week that shows how it could stream Ultra HD programming to subscribers by installing PCs at cable headend facilities.
Consumer electronics giant LG Electronics is generating such good business for TV sets with built-in Google software that it now plans to expand that feature into more sets and more countries, a company executive said at the Digital Cable TV tradeshow in Jeju, Korea.
The High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) HD compression standard has caught the eye of vendors quickly preparing for the next generation of high definition television--4K or UltraHD.
As expected, the need to wear silly looking glasses is enough to turn consumers off of 3DTV, said Bob Zitter, HBO's executive vice president and CTO (at least for another week or so). More alarmingly, Zitter also dismissed prospects for a more evolutionary television change: 4K, or UltraHD.
Japanese telecommunications equipment vendor OKI Electric Industry said it successfully distributed 4K (ultra high definition) content from Japan to Singapore and the Philippines using IPv6 via "state-of-the-art IPTV technologies." The trial also showed the viability of IPv6 because it has not been widely adopted in either market, the vendor said.
DirecTV may be developing the pay TV industry's first 4K, or ultra HD network, according to several trademark applications it filed last week.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I am not a troglodyte. I own and use, in no particular order, a smartphone, tablet and Blu-ray player. I have a Facebook account, a LinkedIn account and a Twitter account. I'm conversant in email and the only reason I don't text is that my stubby fingers make it frustrating to type on my smartphone. With that out of the way, I'm puzzled as to why there would be any fuss about ultra high definition TV (UHDTV) and mobile devices.
While the initial iterations of the recently adopted High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) compression standard will affect the mobile video space first, IPTV, in the long run, will be the real winner.
It's probably too early to start sounding Paul Revere alarms that 4K is coming, UltraHD is coming, batten down your networks, the big change is on the horizon. On the other hand, it's never too early to point to what could be the next disruptive technology that will send the service provider community into at least a modicum of, if not full-fledged, turmoil.
The next generation of HDTV--4K, or UltraHD--is beginning to take root in Japan even as the current generation saturates the U.S. market, setting up a potential dilemma for service providers with a huge installed base of set-top boxes that would need to be replaced in order to handle 4K content.