“It’s a special 4K service for 2 days”
MUMBAI: It is said cricket and
Bollywood are two religions in our
country, and Star India is at it once
again to score big.
After showing seven ICC Cricket World
Cup matches in ultra high definition
(UHD/4K), Star India is now set to
premiere first Bollywood movie in 4K
on Star Gold.
The Hindi movie channel, which is
going to premiere this year’s biggest
hit, Salman Khan-starrer ‘Bajrangi
Bhaijaan’ on 11 October in SD and HD,
will also be telecasting the movie in
4K on three major DTH platforms—
Videocon d2h, Tata Sky and Airtel
“It’s a special 4K service for 2 days.
Star India is partnering with DTH
players who will have a separate Star
Gold 4K service. It will be the first
ever Hindi movie TV premiere in 4K in
the world,” a source said.
However, as this is a one-off event,
Star India is not launching a full-
fledged 4K channel, at least not yet.
As per industry estimates, India has
close to 16,000 UHD subscribers, with
Videocon d2h leading the charts with
8,000–9,000 subscribers. Videocon
d2h is the only DTH operator that
runs a separate 24X7 4K channel with
content acquired from broadcasters
and content creators across the
Tata Sky, on the other hand, has
about 5,000 subscribers. However, it
does not have a 24-hour 4K channel
due to absence of content. It puts the
4K content on a need basis.
Meanwhile, Airtel Digital TV, which
has not launched separate 4K boxes,
has an arrangement with TV
manufacturers like Samsung for
integrated digital TVs with built-in
Industry sources claim that it has
close to 1,000 subscribers.
Although 4K is relatively new across
the world and only in very few
countries like the US and Japan
satellite channels provide UHD
content, an NSR research report says
that there will be over 820 UHD
channels across the world by 2025.
In India, iTV Network has already
partnered TERN to launch a global 4K
channel called ‘Insight’ and TravelXP
is shooting content in 4K.
From a pricing point of view, the year
2015 has seen a massive reduction in
the price of UHD TV sets across the
globe. According to IHS TV Systems
Intelligence Service, 38.5 million UHD
LCD TV sets are expected to ship in
2018, up from 1.5 million in 2013 and
10 million in 2014.
The lower pricing is enabling the
market to expand; however, there is a
long way to go as even by 2018, UHD
will account for only about 16 per
cent of all LCD TV shipments.
What is UHD or 4K?
In simple terms, a UHD TV delivers
four times the detail of a full-HD
quality picture or video. That is
equivalent of eight million pixels
compared to two million pixels in the
In other words, the image gets far
better in clarity with much greater
texture and an almost photographic
emulsion of smoothness. All this is
without the grid-like small boxes even
if a viewer is seeing the broadcast on
a large screen.
In fact, the minimum screen size to
enjoy a UHD broadcast is 50 inches,
which is why most UHD TVs available in
the market are 50 inches plus.
The UHD videos use high efficiency
video coding (HEVC), which is 50 per
cent more efficient than the MPEG-4
In layperson’s terms, it is double the
data compression ratio of HD at the
same level of video quality.
On a large scale, the Fifa World Cup in
Brazil was the first event to be shot
entirely in UHD by Sony.
The European Broadcasting Union
(EBU) broadcast matches of the Fifa
World Cup to audiences in North
America, Latin America, Europe and
Asia in UHD via SES’ NSS-7 and SES-6