In a market considered the world's best prepared for the rollout of Ultra HD, or 4K TV, South Korea's largest cable operator is introducing its Ultra HD lineup with the help of a new content security solution from a major South Korean vendor.
CJ Hallovision, South Korea's largest MSO with more than 4.3 million video subscribers, has chosen Alticast Corp. to provide the conditional access system (CAS) for its launch of Ultra HS live and on-demand programming. Alticast said it's supplying its new AltiProject CAS, which is based on its Alticast Download and Exchange framework (XCS).
CJ Hallovision actually began deploying Ultra HD last November, when it started deploying new cable set-tops boxes and smart TV sets equipped with AltiProject software. Now the MSO is remotely swapping out the legacy CAS system on its previously deployed HD set-tops for AltiProject. The cable operator expects to complete that second part of the project sometime next month.
The news comes as South Korea gets ready to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games by upgrading and maintaining its video and broadband infrastructure as the best in the world. In the latest edition of its "State of the Internet" report last summer, Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM) found that three Asia-Pacific states -- South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong -- are far better prepared for the rollout of Ultra HD, or 4K, video than most of the rest of the planet. Based on the speed of broadband connections, South Korea led the way with 60% of its households considered 4K-ready, followed by Japan with 32% and Hong Kong with 26%.
In contrast, the US trailed well behind the three leaders, ranking just 13th on the list with 17% of its homes considered 4K-ready. A few European nations, such as Switzerland and the Netherlands, ranked higher than their North American counterparts. But generally Asia-Pac entries dominated the top 10 lineup. Overall, Akamai found that 11% of broadband homes around the world are ready for 4K video. (See South Korea Tops 4K TV List.)
Unlike 3D TV, which has failed miserably at exciting consumers so far, industry prognosticators generally believe that Ultra HD, like standard HD before it, will gain broad adoption over the rest of the decade and beyond. In its latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) study, for instance, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) predicted that 4K video will make up 7.5% of all IP video traffic by 2018, up from a mere 0.1% last year, as broadcasters, online video providers and pay TV providers all start embracing the new H.265 standard for Ultra HD. (See Cisco's VNI Shines Light on Mobile Offload.)
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading