33% of UK broadband homes also subscribe to OTT, Hulu and Sony sign streaming deal, and is it too soon to talk 8k? : January 12th 2016

33% of UK broadband homes also subscribe to OTT

Recent research from Parks Associates has revealed that 33 per cent of homes with an active UK broadband subscription, also subscribe to an OTT video service.

Only 15 per cent of homes with pay-TV have active subscriptions to premium movie channel services.

“Overall OTT video usage in the UK favours broadcasters,” said Brett Sappington, Director, Research, Parks Associates. “The most popular OTT video sources in the UK include BBC’s iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD (now All4), and Demand5 — all catch-up or on-demand offerings from broadcasters. New OTT video market entrants, especially those with paid services, will have to provide unique value in order to make substantial gains. However, the demand for interesting content is strong enough that there are market opportunities for new OTT video players. Nearly 20 per cent of UK broadband households have recently used a Netflix service, despite the free OTT catch-up options.”

The study ‘Connected Consumer in Europe’, also revealed that Sky and Virgin Media are in 80 per cent of pay-TV homes while TalkTalk and BT both control around 8 per cent.

Hulu and Sony sign streaming deal

Hulu and Sony are joining forces in a multi-year streaming rights agreement.

Hulu will now begin streaming a range of fan favourite TV series such as ‘Party of Five’, ‘Dawson’s Creek’, ‘Happy Endings’ and ‘The Shield’, as well as Sony’s movie archives.

Is it too soon to talk 8k?

Are consumers getting confused by talk of 8k sets before they’re fully aware of what 4k is? A senior representative of US consumer body Consumer Reports says yes.

Glenn Dere, director of Content Development, seemed to say that there have been great strides made in raising consumer awareness of 4k and UHD products and that talking about what happens next could set a damaging precedent.

“The UHD Alliance codified a standard called ‘Ultra HD Premium’, which pretty much guarantees that if you buy a TV with that label, you’re getting a fancy set with all the bells and whistles that will work with most of the content for the foreseeable future. Also, UHD Blu-ray players were announced and are coming shortly, and Netflix promised even more UHD content,” he said."

“There’s still plenty of confusion to go around and not all the manufacturers are hewing to the standard, but it’s enough progress for Consumer Reports to endorse the idea of getting a UHD set if you’re on the market, rather than suggesting you wait for any more dust to settle."

"I’ll tell you what’s not helping, though. Right in the middle of all these beautiful Ultra HD sets on the CES show floor, there they were: 8K TVs. That’s right 8K—four times the resolution of 4K UHD sets (which doesn’t seem mathematically right, but trust me, it is). In both Samsung and LG’s booths, we were invited to marvel at yet another tier of HD that hints at the obsolescence to come, just when we were all getting comfortable with the new standard.”

Alton Towers plans virtual reality rollercoaster

As if a rollercoaster wasn’t immersive enough, Alton Towers have just announced plans to take it to the next level. ‘Galactica’, a new virtual reality (VR) powered ride, gives passengers the chance to wear VR headsets.

The three-minute ride will take passengers on a journey through space, in which what they see on the headsets will synchronise with the movements of the ride. Passengers will lay facedown and even experience a g-force of 3.5gs, which is the same that astronauts during rocket launches.

Gill Riley, marketing director, said Galactica was a multi-million-pound investment.

With so much uncertainty on where the future of VR lies, this is a huge step for the industry. The DTG are encouraging the industry to collaborate to support any future developments and ultimately improve interoperability. With lots of hype on the subject in Vegas last week, the DTG hosted a VR dinner at CES 2016, attended the key industry players. It was a great success and showed a keen desire to collaborate on further activity.

We’ll be hosting a similar event for NAB2016, so please get in touch with Simon Gauntlett at sgauntlett@dtg.org.uk to take part.

DTG Staff  |  12.01.2016

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