TDG: Streaming Innovations to Drive Early 4K Diffusion

Share Article

New TDG Report Points to Key Broadband Streaming Advances as Early Drivers of 4K Use

Only a few years ago the idea of streaming 4K video over the Internet seemed impossible. Much has changed in a very short period of time.

While the larger 4K ecosystem slowly gets its footing, a new report from The Diffusion Group (TDG) argues that streaming video will be the spark that lights 4K uptake and use. TDG's latest report on the evolving quantum media space, Forecasting the 4K Video Ecosystem, 2014-2025, is now available for purchase.

"Only a few years ago the idea of streaming 4K video over the Internet seemed impossible," notes Joel Espelien, TDG Senior Advisor and author of the new report. "Much has changed in a very short period of time." Espelien points to two specific factors that are coming together to make 4K video streaming both technically feasible and economically attractive.

First, US consumer broadband speeds have improved, with average residential wireline connection speeds now topping 10 Mbps. A majority of US broadband households are now at or above access speeds that would enable a single 4K stream to be enjoyed on a living room TV, especially given new codecs.

Second, video streaming technologies have continued to improve, a critical trend that optimizes available bandwidth such that larger files can be transported more quickly and efficiently. Though still in its early phases, the next-generation codec HEVC (otherwise known as H.265) has been demonstrated to improve codec efficiencies (i.e., bandwidth savings) of between 25% and 50% compared to today's state-of-the-art codec, AVC. This is a significant improvement, says Espelien, as it represents a gain of 50%, which could mean the difference between needing a 15 Mbps and a 10 Mbps stream to deliver 4K content.

As well, MPEG-DASH promises to modify video resolution dynamically, adjusting in real-time to device capabilities and bandwidth conditions. As these capabilities are added to 4K smart TVs and other broadband video devices, 4K streaming will become technically possible on a much wider scale.

"This combination of improved residential broadband throughputs and next-generation codecs will open up a large swath of broadband homes that would otherwise be 'on the bubble' with respect to 4K streaming."

TDG's new report, Forecasting the 4K Video Ecosystem, 2014-2025, offers a fresh perspective on the future of 4K video, as well as potential ways forward for industry stakeholders. The new report:

  • Discusses the role of video resolution in a quantum viewing world, including the implications of the ongoing shift from live to on-demand viewing, as well as how 4K will play across the expanding variety of screens on which video is viewed;
  • Offers TDG's 10-year forecasts for the key elements that define the 4K ecosystem (i.e., devices capable of supporting 4K, devices that will indeed be used to view 4K video, 4K video content creation, and many other variables);
  • Goes beyond device shipments to understand the extent to which the video ecosystem will embrace 4K technology and at what pace; and
  • Offers strategic and tactical recommendations for key stakeholders to best navigate this evolving space.

For more information about this report and its contents, please contact sales(at)tdgresearch(dot)com or visit our website at

About TDG Research
TDG provides actionable intelligence on the quantum market shifts impacting consumer technology and media behavior. Since 2004, our market research and advisory services have helped technology vendors, media companies, and service providers understand how consumers access, navigate, distribute, and consume broadband media -- whenever and wherever they may be. For more information, visit our website at

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Wendy Stockard
TDG Research
+1 (469) 287-8061
Email >
Visit website