4K video quality may not need such a large bandwidth

Ultra-high definition video quality, often called 4K, may only need 50 per cent of the internet speeds currently required when streamed to TVs, after a new development.

A total of 20 major broadcasters and telecoms companies, such as Sky and Intel, have given their backing to V-Nova’s new Perseus technology.

The video compression company has managed to make it possible to stream three 4K videos at once, (when the broadband speed is 22Mbps, the average in the UK), rather than just one 4K video, as was previously possible.

By making use of the numerous cores in the processors of mobiles and smart TVs currently in use, they are able to process pictures much better than before. This will enable people to stream the same quality videos as before, but with slower internet speeds.

For example, Netflix asks users to have an internet speed of at least 25Mbps when using their 4K service, but V-Nova claim to be able to deliver the same quality with an internet speed of just 7-8Mbps.

“This is cutting-edge technology that will be welcomed by pay TV companies, and TV manufacturers because it will help drive 4K sales.”, said Ian Maude, of Enders Analysis.

“But there are still limiting factors to the take-up of 4K including whether networks are capable of meeting demand, having a device able to display an ultra-high definition picture, and the amount of content currently being shot in 4K.”

He added: “Ultra HD will still remain niche for some time but this technology will help.”