S. Korean firm offers pilot Ultra HD programming next year

SEOUL, Aug. 16 (Yonhap) -- KT Skylife Co., a South Korean satellite broadcasting provider, said Friday that it plans to offer pilot ultra high-definition (UHD) contents starting next year.

Last month, a group of local cable TV operators also said it would start pilot programming early next year.

But experts say that higher prices of Ultra HD TVs, along with a lack of available contents, are a major obstacle to the growth of the UHD service.

Prices of Ultra TV sets range from 6 million won to 9 million won (US$8,046) in the country. Ultra HD TVs have four times the resolution of Full HD TVs.

Global manufacturers are ramping up efforts to gain a bigger stake in the market for premium TVs, such as OLED TVs and Ultra HD TVs.

The global market for Ultra HD TVs is forecast to grow rapidly down the road with worldwide shipments expected to reach 3.9 million units next year, earlier data showed.

Worldwide shipments of Ultra HD TVs are expected to hit 6.88 million units in 2015 and 9.87 million units in 2016, according to the data by DisplaySearch. For this year, around 930,000 Ultra HD TVs are expected to be shipped, it said.

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