A lot is being said today about Ultra High Definition (UHD) and 4K Television becoming the latest and greatest TV-viewing experience. As a video provider, you may be asking yourself, “What does this mean to me?”
Or as Hillary says "What difference does it make?!"
Well, here are some of my thoughts, as a 40+ year professional in the field of telecommunications and Chairman and CEO of ETI Software Solutions.
ETI and many of our customers are heavily invested in the wireline telephone business and the move to Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), which offers delivery of very high speeds of data to the home to better operate broadband services as well as IP phones and TV delivered over the Internet (IPTV).
Of course IPTV is digital TV being streamed at high data rates from the telephone central office to the home. And so IPTV needs a pipe to the home capable of delivering television. Before HD and UHD you could squeak by with the copper wiring that already has delivered telephone service. But those days are numbered.
As more and more customers look to view content delivered through OTT services, 4K technology (which displays four times the resolution of standard 1080p HDTVs) is becoming increasingly popular. But there are many obstacles to overcome before these services can be widely available and perhaps just as important, monetized for service providers.
"On the streaming side, bandwidth is a definite issue for UHD...The internet's bandwidth is already dominated by Netflix's traffic, prompting ISPs to go after them for extra cash, and that's with most of its streams at SD and HD levels. Upping everything to 4K doesn't sound like a reasonable option just yet. And even if it were possible to stream 4K content to everyone without breaking the internet, streaming 4K content requires a 25Mbps or faster downstream internet connection, which is faster than most people have at the moment."
For example, if you had 4 TV sets in the home all watching UHD channels, you would need 4 times 25 Mbps or 100 Mbps of pipe to deliver. This pretty well locks in the need for FTTH, but at $2000 per home to install, there is a heavy “sunk cost” amount and a long return on investment. Video service providers who need to remain in business face important decisions about their future.
The forward-thinking provider needs to team up with technology companies that can ease the pain of transition. Because as soon as 4K technology becomes widely adopted, here comes true 3D television, with laser holographic displays!!! And then 3D UHD and .....don't get me started
The future of Video will blow your mind. Having ETI’s knowledge and expertise on your side can help you navigate through the rapid change in technology. We’ve had 20+ years of doing just that and we plan on many, many more.
Thoughts? Questions? Leave a comment below or better yet, take our 5-minute quiz on emerging technologies by clicking here! We will report our results in the next blog!