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Tata Sky to launch 4K STBs early 2015

MUMBAI: Just a day after Videocon d2h announced its readiness for 4K ultra high definition (UHD) technology, another direct-to-home (DTH) player, Tata Sky, has demonstrated its 4K UHD set-top-box (STB), which it intends to launch in the market early next year.

The service was unveiled with the live telecast of the 2014 Fifa World Cup match between France and Germany in SD, HD and a 4k-enabled UHD television from Sony Electronics with live 4k feed from official broadcaster Sony Six.

Tata Sky has a pact with Technicolor for volume supply of 4K STBs to be delivered by early 2015.

The company revealed that 4K, at 8.3 megapixels (3840×2160), has approximately four times the pixilation of 2K (1920×1080), the current HD standard, thus bringing far greater clarity and more vivid colours on screen for viewers.

Tata Sky chief commercial officer Vikram Mehra said, “Being the market leader, we are always at the forefront of technology and have worked on delivering word-class TV viewing experience. In today’s day and age, following global trends is not enough, we try to leapfrog them. Launch of 4k UHD STBs next year is another example of the same. 4K is the future for our subscribers and we are very happy to bring this preview to India for the first time together with Sony Six, showcasing the world’s biggest sporting festival.”

Mehra said that while it’s early for 4K UHD technology, when the company launched HD box also there were not many channels. “Today, 65 per cent of our new connections opt for HD service. Broadcasters are launching HD channels,” he added.

However, he remained tight-lipped about the pricing of the product, saying that pricing, content, promotions and other details will be revealed closer to the launch. He added that the company will have buy-back schemes for existing customers who want to upgrade to 4K.

Videocon d2h had earlier indicated that the starting price is expected to be Rs 10,000 per box. However, Videocon d2h CEO Anil Khera said that it should come down to Rs 6,000-8,000. “While we might import a few boxes for testing purposes, we will soon start making them in-house and the cost will be in the Rs 6,000-8,000 range.”

Tata Sky has a subscriber base of 13.5 million, out of which close to 2.9 million pay Rs 45 per month for the interactive applications.

Tata Sky has always been a fast mover in the industry and has already launched products like HD PVR (personal video recorder), video-on-demand (VOD) service, unique interactive services, karaoke service and now the (4k-enabled) UHD STBs in India.

Also read:

Videocon d2h to roll out 4K Ultra HD services in six months
Tata Sky orders volume supplies of 4K STBs from Technicolor