Broadband needs to be faster, because 4K isn't getting slower

12 January 2017 by Steve Blum
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But the test pattern is marvelous.

The speed required to deliver 4K video via the Internet is still 15 Mbps. That was the consensus at CES two years ago, and it is still the minimum speed that Amazon recommends for its 4K video streams, according to B A Winston, the global head of video playback and delivery for Amazon Video.

He was on a 4K panel at CES last week, and said that Amazon’s challenge is delivering content over unreliable networks – more bits means more congestion – and working within the limits of whatever connectivity and technology consumers bring to the table.… More

California broadband improves but still falls short of excellence

26 March 2016 by Steve Blum
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Average Internet speeds continue to rise in California and across the U.S. Akamai’s quarterly State of the Internet report shows the average Internet connection from Californian users to its content distribution network servers at 15.3 Mbps in the fourth quarter of 2015. That’s a 22% increase from a year before, and more than double – 107% – from three years before, when the average California connection clocked in at a mere 7.4%. Other states saw similar improvements…

In the fourth quarter, average connection speeds among the top 10 states continued the momentum from the third quarter with robust increases seen across the board…All 10 states had average connection speeds meeting the 15 Mbps threshold — up from 8 in the previous quarter—but none had average connection speeds reaching the FCC’s new 25 Mbps broadband threshold.


Chinese policy builds parallel demand for tech, broadband

5 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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4K televisions and home automation, two product categories that are particularly tied to broadband demand, grew significantly in 2015 and the trend is expected to continue into 2016, according to market research presented yesterday at CES in Las Vegas, by the show’s organiser, the newly rechristened Consumer Technology Association.

Home automation accounted for about 9 million units. The $1.2 billion in revenue that generated is an 18% bump over 2014.

On the other hand, CTA researcher Steve Koenig said it looks like 13 million 4K sets sold world wide – outside of China – in 2015.… More

There's more network traffic at 4K levels, but can growth be sustained?

27 September 2015 by Steve Blum
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Home field advantage.

The prospects for widespread adoption of 4K television technology and programming – often referred to as ultra high definition – are slowly getting better in the U.S. According to Akamai, which just released its State of the Internet report for the second quarter of 2015, about a fifth – 21% – of U.S.-based users on its network are running at 15 Mbps or better, which ranks 18th best in the world. That’s the minimum service level needed to stream 4K programming.… More

Lots of solid singles, but no home runs this year at CES

10 January 2015 by Steve Blum
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Crystal ball view of Eureka Park.

All the major manufacturers had a range of 4K televisions at CES this year, giving credence to the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) prediction of 4 million sets sold in the U.S. in 2015, with price points dropping below $1,000. No significant 4K content announcements, and DISH was the only company pumping up the volume on the distribution side.

New wearables were everywhere, but the theme seemed to be me too.… More

Live sports, new production, high bandwidth will drive 4K adoption

7 January 2015 by Steve Blum
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The killer app.

There’s not much true 4K ultra high definition content available right now, and it’s going to take time for inventories to build.

Sony Pictures has about 75 feature films and fewer than 100 television episodes available now, according to Rich Berger, senior vice president for advanced platforms at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

He was the only representative from the production side of the business at a panel session on 4K content at CES yesterday.… More

Consensus: 4K streaming needs 15 Mbps, for now

6 January 2015 by Steve Blum
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“You’re going to need bandwidth speeds in the range of 15 Mbps,” said Michael Schreiber, SVP for content acquisition for Comcast. Ultra high definition content would still flow at a lower speed but “it wouldn’t be a 4K experience”. He was responding to a question about 4K bandwidth requirements at a panel session at CES this afternoon.

Netflix’s Chris Fetner agreed, saying their 4K content runs at 14 to 15 Mbps. Christophe Louvion from M-GO also pegged 15 Mbps as the current minimum, with the caveat that new compression algorithms will bring that down.


DISH is first to complete the 4K product-content-distribution loop

6 January 2015 by Steve Blum
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Any 4K you have.

Like HDTV before it, 4K ultra high definition television programming will enter the U.S. consumer mainstream via satellite. At its CES press conference yesterday, DISH Network announced that it will soon offer the 4K Joey. That’s what it calls its new set top box that streams satellite-delivered UHD channels to any 4K-capable television. Content availability, though, is less clear. According to the company…

DISH will deliver 4K content from several providers.


Ultra definition TVs coming faster and cheaper, CEA predicts

5 January 2015 by Steve Blum
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Click for the full presentation.

The Consumer Electronics Association is forecasting 4 million 4K televisions will be sold in the U.S. in 2015, representing 20% of the market for 40-inch or larger screens. That prediction ramps to 14 million – 63% of the big screen category – in 2018. Those numbers are significant: in a short period of time, ultra HD TV’s will move from technophiles – less than 1% of the market – into the hands of the 15% to 20% of consumers who can be characterised as mainstream early adopters.… More