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India: 20 UHD channels by 2020

“Travel XP already has an HD
channel on air, and is expected to
launch a full-time UHD service over
India and the Middle East by April

A panel at MIPCOM heard Indian
broadcasting experts predict a
buoyant future for Ultra-HD channels
in India. New 4K programming is
coming on line now, with four India
DTH operators about to show their
first 4K Bollywood movie, Bajrangi
Bhaijaan on October 11th.
Star India, Videocon d2h, Tata Sky
and Airtel Digital TV will all show the
hit movie which stars India’s top male
star Salman Khan. The movie will re-
open Star’s 4K transmissions which
have stumbled somewhat since the
ending of this past winter’s
International World Cup cricket
But Videocon d2h’s deputy CEO Rohit
Jain said Videocon d2h is very much
focusing on innovation as a key
differentiator and Ultra-HD is a part
of this attempt to be better than its
rivals. Star, for example, will not
continue with 4K after the movie’s
screening, at least for the time
Videocon d2h is believed to have
around 8,000-9,000 4K subscribers
and currently its 24/7 service is
‘free’ to its HD subscribers. Videocon
d2h has its own 4K-ready set-top box
while broadcasters also depend on
access via built-in 4K functionality on
‘smart’ Ultra-HD displays.
Tata Sky is said to have some 5,000
4K subs while Airtel reportedly has
around 1,000 subs.
Jain says that the main obstacle to
greater take-up is a lack of
understanding as to what the
technology offers.
Local production company iTV is
making 4K programming (for the
TERN-backed Insight Channel) as is
TravelXP. Travel XP already has an HD
channel on air, and is expected to
launch a full-time UHD service over
India and the Middle East by April
Mumbai-based Prashant Chothani, CEO
at TravelXP says they are wholly
committed to UHD with some 50 hours
in production now.
BT Media & Broadcast Enterprises’s VP
Mark Wilson-Dunn, responsible for
bringing the ICC cricket World Cup
signals from Australia to India,
suggested that India “at a minimum”
could have 20 channels. His fellow-
panellists, however, were less
optimistic. Chothani talked about a
half-dozen, while local journalist and
media-watcher Anil Wanvari talked
only of “about four or five”.
Videocon d2h’s Jain, the only current
4K broadcaster, said he was very
happy to accommodate any number of
UHD channels and they – and the
industry – would find the bandwidth to
carry the channels. “The numbers
could be anything, 10, 20, 40 who
really knows today. What we have not
done enough yet is in education, and
content, and we have to appeal to
more consumers who will pay.”

India: 20 UHD channels by 2020

1 Comment

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  1. 4K technology is a Failed one. Its not successfull even Abroad as 8k is already on floors.

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