Yesterday, I attended a training session at my local SCTE chapter (if you have not gone, I really recommend them). There were five interesting presentations. One that I found particularly interesting was 4K TV over Cable Networks by Ritesh Mukherjee, Director, Network Solutions, Huawei Technologies Canada.

4K TV is still a novelty today. I personally don’t know of anyone with it. But Ritesh quoted market forecasts of >100% CAGR for 2014-2018. There are more and more 4k shows available.

4K TV refers to having 4k pixels on your screen. The resolution is 3840×2160. If you thought TV hosts were self-conscious of every wrinkle with HD TV, they should look out!

4K requires 45 Mbps/subscriber and a service latency of 35ms. How are broadcasters coping with this now? Netflix 4k broadcasts are only going at 30 fps. For sports, you will need 60 fps.

Different levels of 4k are being envisaged:

 

Level:              Entry Level          Carrier Grade       Ultra

Speed              15-30Mbps           30-50Mbps          50-100Mbps

Bandwidth      35Mbps                75Mbps                125Mbps

Bits                    8                              10                            12

Frame Rate     25/30P                 50/60P                 100/120P

 

So what should Cable TV companies be doing now to get to 4K TV. Ritesh recommends:

  1. Implement Docsis 3.1 and FTTx
  2. Try to utilize Distributed CDN to get content closer to the viewers
  3. Cache/Acceleration, and again, cache closer to the viewers
  4. E2EIP FPM – not familiar with the acronym? End to end IP Full Performance Monitoring

 

If you think 4K is a fairly tale, you should know that there will be 8k broadcasting for the upcoming Brazil Olympics! Its time for the cablecos to get their network infrastructure ready!