Broadcaster Magazine

Videotron Launches Ultra-High-Definition Service

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  • Videotron has passed a major technological milestone by becoming the first telecommunications provider in Canada to commercially release an ultra-high-definition set-top box across its entire service area. Combined with Videotron’s network capabilities, the set-top box will enable Videotron customers who have purchased a UHD television set to begin viewing content in UHD format when the service launches by summer’s end. The  illico 4K UHD set-top box, which also supports the HD and SD formats, delivers exceptional image quality and peerless performance.

    “As a leader in cable TV, Videotron hopes that its move into UHD will serve as a catalyst for the development of Canada’s UHD ecosystem and spur all the players in the distribution chain to follow suit, from the movie studios and post-production facilities to the broadcasters,” said Manon Brouillette, President and CEO of Videotron. “Consumers will be the winners. With the advent of UHD, it will be possible to create an astonishing television experience for viewers. In terms of both image quality and fast, fluid navigation through the interface, illico 4K UHD will give our customers what is unquestionably the best in technology and entertainment.”

     Videotron customers can take advantage of the speed and power of the new illico 4K UHD set-top box immediately, even if they are not buying a 4K television set yet. The processor is 12 times the speed of an illico TV new generation set-top box, making it possible to navigate 4 times faster, to record 8 shows simultaneously, to store up to 320 hours of HD content, the equivalent of 13 consecutive days of recording, or to store up to 115 hours of UHD content.

    In collaboration with global innovation technology leader Samsung, Videotron has enhanced its robust, reliable network to support UHD images and to carry the data volumes required for UHD broadcasting.

    Videotron is fortunate to have partners working with it from Day 1, enabling it to offer UHD content to consumers who care about video quality. As a result, Videotron customers will be able to see some of the first commercially available UHD video images when the service launches. For example, they will be able to view, via video-on-demand, breathtaking landscapes from the Stingray Ambiance channel and the first episodes of Alerte 5, TVA’s new docu-reality show. Movies will also be added in order to begin building one of Canada’s first UHD catalogues.

    UHD opens up a world of possibilities extending far beyond the confines of HD. The UHD digital video format offers exceptional 3840 x 2160 image quality, four times as many pixels as HD. That resolution translates into unparalleled visuals featuring stunning clarity and contrast, next-level realism, and ultimately a more immersive experience for the viewer.

    Although UHD displays four times as many pixels on the screen, there is no risk that Videotron’s network will become overburdened. “With our network capacity, you could install several 8-tuner 4K set-top boxes in a home and record on all of them simultaneously!” said Pierre Roy, Vice President, Engineering, Research & Development of Videotron.