The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based ABI Research says 4K/Ultra HD is still the future, but it will be slower for traditional TV services. For example, while 1080p TV screens appear to the norm, much HD content is distributed in 720p or lower.
“We expect pay TV operators will seriously consider 4K movie services over IP connections directly to smart TVs, bypassing the set-top box,” says senior analyst Michael Inouye. “This will allow them to compete with OTT providers on feature set before rolling out 4K capable set-top boxes in 2015 to 2017.”
Traditional TV providers may even be a step behind -- especially when it comes to the 1080p technology. ABI Research says when it comes to TV Everywhere content, for example, pay TV providers are more likely to settle for 720p for smartphones and tablets.
It estimates that TV Everywhere homes worldwide will grow to 20% in five years (2019) from 4% in 2013.