September 15, 2013 08.37 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Sky Deutschland’s Senior Vice President of Technology has described the importance of the new Ultra HD technology to the pay-TV platform’s armoury.
Gerard Duffy told a Cisco press lunch that the ability of Ultra HD to screen multiple views in high resolution, alongside a main high definition screen, was as important as the picture resolution itself.
“4K is central, being able to do that offers another potential, it’s not just the picture quality but the other things the platform can do,” said Duffy. He explained how the launch of an Ultra HD service might be used to renew the set-top box inventory that in turn offered a whole new opportunity that could be used to bring extra value to the customer proposition.
However, he cautioned that there needed to be a strong element of backwards compatibility. “You can’t just rip up the platform every three years and start again”.
Sky Deutschland has used technology, much of it from Cisco and its predecessor NDS, to make its mark after years of pay-TV stagnation. 40% of new subscribers come from recommendations with total subscriber numbers now standing at 3.5 million.