Elemental Technologies, a leader in software-defined video solutions, announced it is providing the technology platform for a rush of new 4K Ultra HD (UHD) over-the-top (OTT) and direct-to-home (DTH) services in South Korea. Market leader telcos KT and SK Broadband have both launched UHD services using Elemental high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) software. Asia represents one of the world’s fastest growing UHD markets, with Korea reported as the largest UHD TV market in the region by research firm GFK.
KT is one of the leading telecommunications companies in South Korea. It launched its media business seven years ago. In 2016, it is expecting 20 percent revenue growth and to boost its pay TV subscriber base by a half million to bring its total subscribers to approximately seven million. The UHD channels KT has added to its SkyLife DTH service are important elements in attracting those new viewers.
SK Broadband, also a telecommunications leader in South Korea, is investing 320 billion Won (about $265 million USD) in its own creative content this year, which is equivalent to nearly half of the country’s drama budget. It is also investing in its delivery infrastructure to meet continually growing demand, and to provide 4K content to more of its subscribers.
Both KT and SK Broadband have chosen to offer 4K UHD as a key part of their offerings, in an effort to provide high quality content in their programming. The first 4K services were made available in June 2015, powered by Elemental Live and Elemental Server video processing. To meet their expanding needs, both companies have already ordered extensions to their installations in 2016.
“South Korea is at the forefront of 4K in Asia,” said David Godfrey, Elemental vice president for the region. “Elemental is very excited to be working with both KT and SK Broadband on their UHD multiscreen services from initial launch to recent expansions. Audiences are clearly voting with their subscriptions for the crisp, lifelike images of 4K video.”