While 4K TV set ownership is growing, the fact is there are few TV channels to watch. However, Sony Corp is already preparing for ‘next generation’ 8K transmissions.
The 8K need is very real given that Japanese 8K ‘Super Hi-Vision’ broadcasts are starting in August. Japan’s public broadcaster NHK is starting its 8K test-transmissions with specially commissioned programming, including news broadcasts.
What Sony is doing is to introduce the industry’s 1st demodulator and tuner models that can handle Japan’s ISDB-S3 transmission system. Samples will start shipping in September. The tuner can automatically handle terrestrial signals, as well as transmissions from digital satellite and the Japanese BS satellites.
Sony said it is also planning to introduce variations in September of the basic tuner and able to handle up to 3 tuners on a single integrated chipset for handling simultaneous channel broadcasts.
SES: HD at 33%, 16 UHD channels
SES has revealed its H1 numbers, with the Luxembourg-based satellite operator reporting its fleet now carries 16 commercial Ultra-HD channels, and that its portfolio of 2,422 HD channels represents 32.7 per cent of the total 7,164 channel count (and HD growth is up 12.1 per cent y-o-y).
The growth in commercial UHD channels is dramatic. This time last year there were none. That growth is guaranteed to continue with Sky’s commitment and other expectations from the pay-TV and commercial sectors.
There’s other good news, with fresh contracts in the aeronautical sector (with Gogo, Panasonic and Global Eagle), and new DTH platforms helping boost its Video segment (which now represents 70 per cent of revenues, compared with 66 per cent at this time last year).
CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh said that the SES consolidation of O3b’s revenues would start on August 1. This full year, O3b’s revenues are expected to double to more than $100 million.
Sabbagh confirmed that H1 numbers overall were down 4.2 per cent (at €957 million) which impacted EBITDA which also fell back 5.4 per cent (to €700 million) and an EBITDA margin down from 73.5 per cent to 73.1 per cent. Its all-important contracted backlog fell back €100 million to €7.3 billion.
As at June 30th SES had 1.550 available transponders (up from 1.518 a year ago). For its full year, SES says it is expecting overall revenues to be between €2.01 billion – €2.05 billion, and with an EBITDA margin of some 73-5 per cent-74 per cent.