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820 UHD channels in world by 2025: Report

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MUMBAI: A new report by research firm Northern Sky Research (NSR) says that by 2025, there will be over 820 ultra HD (UHD) definition satellite channels across the world. This, according to the research, will lead to greater customer retention and higher average revenue per user (ARPUs).

Although every region will be able to have at least a few UHD channels through DTH, IPTV and cable TV, much of it will be provided by DTH operators. It will account for nearly 560 4K and 8K channels while cable TV and IPTV will account for 260+ channels.

NSR analyst Alan Crisp says that while HD TVs remained expensive for several years, the price of 4K TV is eroding very quickly.  This should lead to faster adoption and creation of UHD content. Revenue growth is forecast to reach $370 million from capacity leasing for 4K content. This will be not just in developed but also in developing countries where a few UHD channels could be the difference in attracting subscribers to the tune of tens or even hundreds of thousands even with relatively lower ARPUs.

“In years past, and with previous technological advancements relating to TV content, we have seen a number of hurdles, not least of which has been the prohibitively high cost for end-users to attain TVs suitable for new content. With HD about 15 years ago, this was a major sticking point. Conversely, with UltraHD, this hurdle is eroding quickly, with UHD compatible TV sets reducing in price to as low as $1,000 today”, notes Crisp. “Further, NSR notes that as compared to HDTV, a number of satellite operators and DTH platforms, from regions as diverse as North America to South Asia, are investing heavily in UHD content and UHD compatible set-top boxes”, adds Crisp.

Currently, Videocon d2h and Tata Sky are the only operators in India who have announced their involvement in UHD services that will roll out soon.

In the medium term, it will be a niche market but will soon be mainstream in developed regions. The intense competition in developing countries would mean utilizing UHD as a differentiator.

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