Light Reading

Video Vendors Bet Big on 4K in Vegas

Alan Breznick
4/9/2014
50%
50%

LAS VEGAS -- NAB Show 2014 -- In case there were any doubt, 4K Ultra HD video will soon be coming to a TV set, tablet, smartphone, camera, and/or other video-enabled device near you.

That much is evident from a quick glance around the vast exhibit floor at the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention here this week. Video technology vendors of all stripes are showing off beautifully crisp 4K pictures on one big screen after another while hawking the equipment and software tools needed to deliver the Ultra HD signals to home viewers without breaking the bank or clogging the distribution pipe.

In one prime example, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) are joining forces on the convention floor to demonstrate the live delivery of full-frame-rate 4K video for the first time. The demo, which is taking place at both the Cisco and Sony booths, is showing what live events look like when streamed at the 60-frame rate, which is considered optimal for the new video format.

Befitting this notable event, Cisco and Sony are going to great lengths for the 4K demo. Captured on Sony's F55 4K video cameras, the event is being encoded in the new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) format by Cisco's Videoscape AnyRes platform. The stream then gets transported from New York, where the event is taking place, to Las Vegas via a fiber optic network. At the Las Vegas Convention Center, the live stream is decoded by a Cisco 4K-enabled set-top box and displayed on Sony's XBR 4K Ultra HD TVs. (Got all that?)

In another prime example of 4K's rise to prominence here, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is showing off its own vision of the 4K-enhanced video future. In a private meeting room at its booth, Ericsson is using a huge, 84-inch TV screen to demonstrate all the interactive features, navigational enhancements, and social media goodies that it plans to bring to home viewers over the next couple of years, along with the ultra-crispy Ultra HD pictures.

Tech executives said they're doing the demos and showing the displays this spring because 4K's development is coming along fast and furious. With 4K TVs already coming on the market and dropping in price, such online video powers as Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) starting to stream programming in the Ultra HD format, such major pay-TV providers as DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) gearing up to distribute 4K content to their subscribers, and HEVC encoding chipsets in development, they said all the necessary elements are now coming together.

In fact, Joe Cozzolino, SVP and GM of service provider video infrastructure for Cisco, confidently predicted that 4K video will be a force in the US consumer electronics market by the fall. "It's really going to hit its peak as we hit the next holiday season," he said in a phone interview late last week. "It's starting to feel like it's just going to happen."

Cozzolino, who was quite skeptical about the similar industry hype over 3D-TV just a few years ago, argued that 4K is very different from 3D because Ultra HD is a more natural upgrade from standard HD, actually produces a sharper picture, and doesn't require viewers to wear those goofy, annoying 3D glasses, among other things. "I think we'll see a lot of chatter around 4K at NCTA [the Cable Show]," he said. "It's just the next evolution."

When standard HDTV first emerged in the video market more than a decade ago, satellite TV provides got a big jump on cable operators in rolling it out to their subscribers, leaving MSOs scrambling to catch up for years. But Cozzolino doesn't believe that will happen this time around with Ultra HD, despite vows by DirecTV to be first US pay-TV provider with 4K.

"We're already working with a number of cable operators around 4K," he said, without naming names. "I don't think there's going to be this big gap." If the HEVC chipsets arrive on time, he expects to see cable operators start to deploy set-top boxes and IP client devices capable of 30-frame 4k resolution in the second half of 2015, followed by full-fledged home video gateways capable of full 60-frame resolution shortly after that.

Related posts:

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/9/2014 | 7:22:55 PM
After 3D
After the fiasco of 3D, I'm skeptical of further TV upgrades. The world seems to be moving on to watching video on mobile devices, rather than big boxes in the living room. 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (5) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Thailand's AIS: Transforming to an FMC Operator

7|17|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Saran Phaloprakarn, Senior VP of Fixed Broadband Business Management of Thailand's AIS, was a keynote speaker at the first Asia-Pacific Ultra Broadband Summit in Bangkok. In this video, he talks to Heavy Reading about transforming into an FMC (FBB+MBB+Content) operator.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network operators start seeing savings from NFV in the first year, according to a study by Affirmed Networks and ACG.
Hot Topics
Robbins Succeeds Chambers as Cisco Changes CEOs
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/27/2015
Cable Feuds With Senate Dems Over STBs
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/31/2015
RJio to Launch Its Own 4G Devices Brand
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 7/27/2015
Easing the Tech Pains for the Homeless
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/28/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
Cats with Phones
Comes With Free Phone Stand Click Here
Who says cats don't have any skills?