Elemental Technologies Powers South Korea’s 4K/UHD Boom With KT, SK Broadband
Elemental Technologies 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. Telco 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 company in South Korea. It launched its media business seven years ago, and is expecting 20 percent revenue growth in 2016, 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 telco 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 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,” says 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.”
At the 2016 BroadcastAsia Show (May 31 – June 3, Booth 5A4-01), Elemental will showcase its suite of software-defined video solutions in both on-premises and cloud-based deployments, including new video ingest, processing and delivery capabilities. Highlights include high dynamic range, 4K UHD video encoding; live broadcasting from the cloud, server-side ad insertion, and multiscreen monetization. See Elemental at BroadcastAsia in booth 5A4-01, Level 5.