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Cutting Through the Hype: Ultra HD Not Going Anywhere Fast

It might seem like heresy after a CES week full of ultra HD backed by HEVC (H.265), but UHD isn't going to become a major player for many years to come. That's the belief of Avni Rambhia, industry manager for digital media at Frost & Sullivan. Speaking at the recent Streaming Media West conference in sunny Huntington Beach, California, Rambhia said that UHD needs HEVC much more than HEVC needs UHD.

"Without HEVC, you cannot have ultra HD, at least not in any economical feasible sense in the long term, but the converse isn't true. Ultra HD isn't driving HEVC; HEVC is certainly critical for ultra HD. I'm going to have several people disagree with me here, which is a good thing, but ultra HD isn't really well positioned for a short-term take off," Rambhia said. "There are certainly niche applications -- there are many, many pilots -- but how deeply this will penetrate, how strong the demand will be, and more importantly what the revenue potential will be is very much up for grabs."

How long will it take for ultra HD to take off? Looking four years down the road, it's still a bit player.

"If you look at the VOD revenues that ultra HD generated this year, even the forecasts we're seeing for three or four years, they're not particularly spectacular. As far as ultra HD encoding revenue forecasts are concerned, they're less than ten percent of the total encoding market, even if you look four years out," Rambhia said. "4K TVs are going to be probably less than 5 percent of the total streaming destination."

For additional insights on the future of HEVC and ultra HD, watch the video below and download Rambhia's presentation.


PRESENTATION: Cutting Through the Hype of HEVC (H.265)

While HEVC probably will serve as the successor to MPEG-4, many myths surround the technology and the rate at which it will be deployed. In reality, the mainstream market is not yet ready for HEVC, it’s still a few years away, and there isn’t an ROI to be achieved from being an early adopter of HEVC. This presentation will discuss the current state of HEVC products and technology, and its strategic implications in the short,mid and long term for a variety of businesses.

Speaker: Avni Rambhia, Industry Manager, Digital Media, Frost & Sullivan

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