4K: the prospects

December 5, 2013 00.47 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, Digital TV World Summit 2013, London

LG ultra HD 4KThere is a lot of collaboration rather than a race between broadcasters over the introduction 4K, according to Mark Harrison, controller of production, BBC North.

What is more, it would not surprise him if Sky got there first in the UK and this is something that would not upset the BBC.

Harrison was also of the view that sports, drama and high-end factual content would drive 4K.

However, production costs could be a problem and making a business case for 4K seems to be overlooked.

Although Harrison felt 4K would not arrive for a while, AbdulAziz Al Mutawa, senior VP of technology innovations, Etisalat, argued that 4K will be with us sooner than we anticipate.

YouTube and Vimeo , for instance, already support the uploading of 4K videos and Netflix will launch 4K in 2014.

4K sets in the US that currently cost $1,000 will fall in price by 30% in 2014 and by 2017 5% of sets will be 4K, with the total rising to 10% by the end of 2018.

The UAE is meanwhile well placed to launch 4K services, with over 80% of households already equipped with FTTH or IPTV at up to 100Mbps.