4K UHD – Getting from Risk to Reward

Satellite and Cable TV providers may currently be in the best position to roll out UHD content distribution in terms of bandwidth and sustained image quality says Bruce Curtin, Technical Solution Manager, Irdeto.

4K UHD satellite

Pitfalls for operators

Furthermore, a number of potential pitfalls must be factored into any UHD strategy. These include:

Bandwidth – The bandwidth required for delivering UHD is one of the inhibiting factors to widespread rollout

Licensing fees – While a new standard (HEVC/H.265) has been developed that provides better video compression, the licensing fees could be an issue for device manufacturers, content developers and operators

Existing infrastructure – Those who hope to comply with the MovieLabs standards will also have to make much more signifi cant enhancements to their existing infrastructures and expenditure is no guarantee of success

Existing customers – Exported 4K content must be protected using the HDCP 2.2 standard. But many TVs and devices billed as 4K, are running HDCP 1.X. As a result, operators will have to choose between continuing to provide existing customers with their regular content, or delivering 4K content, which can only be viewed on devices that adhere to the new standard

4K Piracy – Operators must take a page from the pirate’s playbook when migrating to 4K UHD – offering the content isn’t enough. Providing maximum flexibility and ease of access for customers will become even more critical to success as the quality stakes are raised

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