Starz Entertainment’s view on Ultra HD and HEVC

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What’s stopping Ultra HD from reaching the mainstream?

With the recent approval of the Ultra HD HEVC standard by the ITU, broadcast and video compression engineers can focus their time on bringing Ultra High Definition content to the mainstream.

So now that we have the Ultra HDTV’s and the HEVC compression format — what’s stopping large media programmers from broadcasting their content in Ultra HD? Ray Milius from Starz Entertainment explains a few of the milestones and setbacks for the future:

The following is an excerpt from an interview between CED Magazine and Ray Milius from Starz Entertainment

Ray Milius and his team are responsible for engineering matters at Starz. Starz is not among the largest programmers, but it frequently is among the first programmers to adopt new technologies. For example, in 2008, the company was among the first to embark on the transition from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4.

More recently, Ray and his team got Starz into TV Everywhere with its Encore and MoviePlex On Demand And Play services.

On the occasion of his recent promotion, Milius took some time out for an extended chat about the technological path Starz has traveled, some of the technological challenges of program distribution, the intersection of technological feasibility and business issues, and speculation on what one of the Next Big Problems might be.

CED: What would encourage the move to advanced compression such as HEVC? Would the adoption of Ultra HD (aka 4K) television sets do it?

Milius: 4K is a good example, and I think workable. If we were to launch a 4K linear channel, it would be a new service. That would mean providing new receivers, which would be relatively inexpensive. Trying to convert channels would get kind of expensive.

Read the full interview between Ray Milius (Starz Entertainment) and CED Magazine.

About Andrew Michael

Andrew Michael is a physician and Ultra HDTV Magazine's editor-in-chief. As obsessed as he is with finding the perfect combination of technology and medicine, in his spare time he enjoys exploring the globe in search of the ultimate pair of flip-flops.
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