Will Ultra HD Broadcast Change the Way the World Sees Asia?

Will Ultra HD Broadcast Change the Way the World Sees Asia?

International tourism growth is a priority for ASEAN markets. With the rise of Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD) channels, driven by consumer demand for a higher resolution experience, satellite distribution platforms could play an important role in reaching a global audience with ASEAN’s tourism content.


The 10-year Plan

In 2016, ASEAN tourism ministers launched a 10-year plan to promote the region as a single destination to international tourists, aiming to increase tourism’s share of  regional gross domestic product (GDP) to 15% by 2025 [1].

In March 2017, The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecast the tourist industries’ economic contribution to grow to $528.7 billion by 2025. While significant, the forecast is just 12.6% of the region’s GDP and falls short of ASEAN’s desired set target [2].

In order to attract a higher percentage of visitors and viewers, a key component of ASEAN’s tourism push could be to produce promotional content in Ultra HD format and leverage on the benefits of the latest satellite broadcasting technology.

SES and the World’s First Ultra HD HDR Travel Channel

SES is at the forefront of shaping and developing Ultra HD broadcasting. By pioneering the platforms and technologies that help broadcasters progress to delivering Ultra HD content, SES plays a critical role in helping with everything from encryption and storage, to infrastructure consulting and distribution.

In fact, SES has consistently delivered for those markets pushing for advanced technology. In Germany, commercial broadcasters have benefitted from SES’s HD+ platform which ensures every channel is transmitted to viewers securely, reliably and in optimum HD and Ultra HD quality via a simple plug and play set-top box system.

One example of a channel taking full advantage of HD+ is international travel channel Travelxp 4k. First launched on SES’s North America Ultra HD platform, Travelxp 4k began delivering programmes in Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) to HD+ viewers across Germany in 2017.

As of 2016, HD+ exceeded two million paying subscribers, reaching more than 3 million households, distributing content to entertain and entice viewers across more than 50 HD channels.  The advantages are clear to content creators, not to mention advertisers.

Access to a mass viewing audience on Ultra HD channels through platforms such as HD+ will spread ASEAN’s tourism message globally and may help to drive tourism to the region.

The Most Life-like Image

Ultra HD broadcasting allows Travelxp 4K’s viewers to indulge in exotic destinations in 4 times the detail of 1080P HD while a wider colour gamut of 1 billion displayed colours provides more saturation and colour variation. On top of this, HDR captures shadows and highlights in exceptional clarity and detail. The overall result is an image that’s as close as possible to what the human eye captures.

Producing content in Ultra HD and HDR format for channels such as Travelxp 4K will allow ASEAN to celebrate and share the amazing diversity and true beauty of the region in stunning colour and life-like resolution.

Investing in Ultra HD Content to Reach the World

As more content is created, TV manufacturers are playing an important role in ensuring this content is accessible. Sales of Ultra HD TVs are on the rise with 90 million units sold in 2018, up from just 10 million units in 2014 [3]. As more customers adopt this rich viewing technology, there is a need to ensure sufficient content and bandwidth to make the most of the system’s capabilities.

As of now, it’s projected that 1,100 Ultra HD channels will broadcast via satellite by 2025 [6].

Asia’s Future: As Clear As Ultra HD

With the steady increase in Ultra HD channels, and platforms such as HD+ leading the way, Ultra HD travel content is certainly an investment worth considering as part of ASEAN’s future tourism marketing efforts. Key to those efforts will be to work with the right channels and distribution platform partners to ensure the region reaps the full benefits of UHD technology.

Contact us to find out how SES can deliver your Ultra HD content to any compatible device in the world.


[1] Southeast Asian destinations are teaming up to promote tourism

[2] Tourism Boom for ASEAN Economies, Buoyed by Rising Middle Class

[3] Global 4K UHD TV unit sales from 2014 to 2018 (in millions)

[4] 4K UHD Content is Now Abundantly Available, but it's Not Reaching Devices

[5] SES Platform Hd+ In Germany Reaches More Than 3 Million Households

[6] Your Ultra HD eBook by SES