There are 189 ultra-high-definition services available to consumers worldwide. Over three quarters of them are linear television channels. The Ultra HD Forum, celebrating its fifth year of bringing together the industry to accelerate the deployment of ultra-high-definition television, has published version 2.4 of its guidelines. Spain has meanwhile seen the first broadcast of 8K ultra-high-definition using the DVB-T2 digital terrestrial television standard.

“UHD service launches have continued to accelerate since 2013 when YouTube first streamed 4K publicly,” observed Benjamin Schwarz, who tracks the adoption of services for the forum.

There are now 189 consumer-facing ultra HD services. 147 of them are linear channels, with the others being available on demand.

A number of on-demand services are available worldwide, including those from Amazon, Apple, Disney, Netflix, Ratuken, Roku, and YouTube.

UHD consumer services 2013-2020

However, the number of new launches in 2020 is so far down on previous years, possibly as a result of coronavirus restrictions. There were 13 launches reported so far in 2020, compared to 45 in 2019 and 51 in 2018. The compound annual growth rate is 46% over five years.

89 of the consumer services offer high dynamic range video. 52 of them use some form of hybrid log gamma. 34 of the services offer immersive audio. 28 of them support Dolby Atmos.

The Ultra HD Forum has published free Guidelines for the UHD community since 2016, based on the input of more than 35 member companies. They document a “foundation layer” of readily available, mature technologies, and an “enhancement layer,” including more leading-edge technologies.

Spain has meanwhile seen the first test broadcast in the 8K ultra-high-definition format using DVB-T2. RTVE broadcast the 8K signal on the Cellnex test channel to several Spanish cities, including Madrid, Seville, Valencia, and Barcelona.