All MSOs in South Korea are now providing a channel of Ultra High Definition (UHD) content. The service went live April 10.

The information came from Ateme, the company providing the encoders for Homechoice, the programmer providing the channel, called UMAX.

Homechoice is providing a rotating schedule of films, documentaries and other programming -- a total of 40 different items, in a 60p 4K format, from 6:00 am to 2:00 am every day. Homechoice is using Ateme’s Titan encoders to perform HEVC compression on the 4K video on the UMAX channel.

The plan is to expand to as many as 100 different content assets, and to start providing live sports later this year.

The service is provided without set-top boxes. Decoding capabilities will be built into the sets, and instead of set-tops, viewers with Samsung or LG TVs will need to install a USB stick to receive the channels.

The service is available at no extra charge Fouchard said. The intent is to support manufacturers such as LG and Samsung, who are building 4K TVs.

He said that Japanese broadcasters and CE companies are following the same playbook.

Separately, Ateme entered a partnership with Deluxe Media to fulfill multiple major commercial contracts for 4K video for distribution in both video-on-demand (VOD) and physical formats.

Deluxe Media is preparing a catalog of 4K titles from multiple major Hollywood studios to support upcoming VOD and physical format service launches, and to be compatible with commercially available UHD television sets.  Deluxe Media is using Ateme equipment to perform HEVC compression on masters for subsequent distribution.

The envisioned service will work the same way that it does in South Korea. The pair expect that 4K TV manufacturers will integrate HEVC decoding, thus removing the dependency on a UHDTV and HEVC capable set-top-box.

Steve Kochak, vice president of engineering for Deluxe Media, said, “We chose to partner with ATEME for its picture quality in HEVC and the interoperability of its streams with internal televisions decoders. In addition to having a mature solution in the emerging UHD market, its development team’s ability to respond quickly to changes in UHDTV manufacturer requirements, under tight deadlines, was critical.”

This article was edited to correct several points of information: All South Korean MSOs are carrying the single channel of 4K content; the name of the programmer and the name of the channel were originally switched; the number of content assets is 40, not the number of channels. -- ed.