It is “a truth universally acknowledged” that pornography fans are early adopters of new media tech. So why is a premium adult entertainment TV network facing obstacles to 4K tech?
4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV tech, which offers the closest TV gets to optimum cinematic quality in vision and sound, might be defying the early-adoption trend, as the subscription-funded premium adult-entertainment channel Penthouse TV has discovered.
Although the technology is available to use, 4K UHD distribution platforms are currently far too expensive for the vast majority of TV networks to justify. And US-based Kelly Holland (pictured below), CEO of Penthouse TV’s owner Penthouse Global Media Inc (PGMI), says this will only hold back an enhanced screen experience all TV networks crave for.
“I’m skeptical of the likelihood that any platform will make more than a limited commitment to UHD in the coming year,” she declares.
4K can see clearly
The resolution for video images produced in 4K is more detailed and lifelike compared to standard High Definition (HD) TV images. Combined with what is known as High Dynamic Range (HDR), 4K UHD delivers superior crystal-clear visuals, almost replicating the way humans see objects in real life.
And the most effective way of transmitting 4K UHD content to the widest possible audience is by leasing devices called transponders, which are inside communications satellites.
However, at a time when traditional satellite TV networks are cutting budgets in response to aggressive competition from Internet-delivered streaming services like Netflix, Holland says the fees required to hire 4K-compatible transponders are excessive compared to the needs for standard HD channels.
Penthouse TV, a sister venture to the iconic adult print magazine of the same name, has never been afraid of new tech. In 2011, it became the first adult channel to broadcast in full 3D. 4K transmissions will give it an edge over rivals like Playboy TV (which is a subsidiary of Luxembourg-headquartered tech group MindGeek).
But despite having a robust catalog of erotica produced in 4K and enough subscribers to justify the investment, Holland argues that the expense for satellite transponders today is far from pragmatic.
To learn more about the difference 4K tech can make to the TV viewing experience and why Penthouse TV has gripe, download TechMutiny Issue No.14