New study: over 820 UHD channels by 2025
NSR’s new study, ‘UltraHD via Satellite, 2nd Edition’, forecasts over 820 channels of UltraHD content via satellite by 2025. With Direct to Home (DTH) leading the way, this next generation technology will not only lead to higher ARPUs but also greater customer retention, according to NSR.
By 2025, all regions will see some UltraHD content broadcast, not only via DTH, but also via satellite to cable TV headends and IPTV providers. By 2025, DTH platforms will still lead the way, with over 560 4K and 8K UltraHD channels being broadcast; however, the study claims cable and IPTV will also see healthy demand growth via satellite, with 260+ channels distributed to cable and IPTV headends.
“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 US$1,000 today”, said Alan Crisp, NSR Analyst and report author. “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.”
The NSR study also forecasts significant revenue growth for UltraHD, with over US$370m from capacity leasing for this new content type. In addition to being the ‘next big thing’ in TV broadcasting, UltraHD is also expected to be an important differentiator among DTH platforms. This will be the case not only in developed regions, but also in developing ones, where a few UHD channels could be the difference in attracting subscribers to the tune of tens or even hundreds of thousands, albeit at relatively lower APRUs.
Overall, UltraHD will be a solid niche market in the medium term, and will likely soon develop into mainstream adoption in most developed regions. With intense competition in developing regions, the picture appears that UltraHD will be utilised as a differentiator, even in spite of ARPUs that, in the short-term, may not justify such expenditures into this new content type.