Europe is set to get its first free-to-air 4K channel this September, but don't get too excited. Instead of riveting sports action or slickly-produced Hollywood blockbusters, it'll show cubic zirconias and dehumidifiers. That's right, it's a shopping channel.
It's called Pearl.tv and is basically a German take on QVC. Not all that thrilling, admittedly, but it is still a milestone for the resolution, which has so far been restricted to demos at trade shows and a handful of programmes from Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.
SES Platform Services will handle the satellite channel and online stream.
"We're delighted to be launching Europe's first free-to-air UHD [aka 4K] channel both via satellite and the internet," said Sophie Lersch, chief product officer for services at SES. "UHD places specific demands on workflows in the content management, playout and encoding sectors, an area in which we've gained a lot of knowhow over the past few years.
"As a result, we can now offer all services that broadcasters and content providers need in order to market and distribute their content in UHD – linear or on-demand, and via satellite or the internet."
Michael Sichler, managing director of Enstyle – Pearl.tv's parent company – added: "With the launch of Pearl.tv UHD, we're seeking to raise the quality of our product worlds to a whole new level. SES Platform Services is the ideal partner for the preparation and play out of our TV signal as it provides us with top-quality UHD services and maximum transmission security."
Pearl.tv will launch at the IFA trade show in Berlin on September 4th.
Somewhat more excitingly, BT Sport Ultra HD will launch in August, giving subscribers a selection of games from the Premier League and Champions League. However, you'll have to pay to receive it. BT hasn't said how much yet.