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KT IPTV (olleh GiGA UHD tv) Service (3): 4-channel View
June 06, 2015 | By Dr. Harrison J. Son (tech@netmanias.com)
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KT IPTV (4K UHD) Service

(1) UHD Live TV

(2) 'Most Popular Channels Now' (9-Channel View)

(3) 4-channel View

(4) UHD VoD

 

KT also offers 4-channel view service. This service is pretty similar to LG U+'s and has the following two options:

  1. Operator-selected channels: Offers a set of 4 channels selected by operator (sports, shopping, over-the-air and movies).
  2. User-selected channels (launched in March 2015): Allows users to select 4 channels, and watch them in a customized 4-split view.

 

   

Figure 1. 4-channel view (operator-selected 4 sports channels)

 

In a recent test we conducted by using KT Giga Internet, Samsung's UHD TV and Kaonmedia's UHD STB , we found all 4 multicast streams are transmitted to STB in both cases - whether operator-selected or user-selected (see the screen shot of the traffic in Figure 2).

 

We also confirmed that both options allow for re-arrangement of the channels in the screen. So, a user can move channels around, for example, from the main window (seen in the left side of the figure below) to one of the 3 sub-windows (seen in the right side of the figure below), or the other way around.  

 

Table 1. Codec and streaming information measured in 4-channel view (of operator-selected 4 sports channels)

      Resolution Codec   Encoding rate Streaming rate Network BW   QoS
   Main window SPOTV 1920x1080 (Full HD) H.264 4:2:0   10.9 Mbps 11.2 Mbps CBR 0x80
   Sub window 1 SBS Sports 720x480 (SD) H.264 4:2:0 2.5Mbps 3.5 Mbps 3.6 Mbps CBR 0x80
   Sub window  2 KBS N Sports 720x480 (SD) H.264 4:2:0 2.5Mbps 3.5 Mbps 3.6 Mbps CBR 0x80
   Sub window  3 MBC Sports+ 720x480 (SD) H.264 4:2:0 2.5Mbps 3.5 Mbps 3.6 Mbps CBR 0x80

For 4-channel view, network bandwidth of 22Mbps (=11.2+3.6+3.6+3.6) is required.

 

 

Figure 2. Screen shot of traffic in 4-channel view (of operator-selected 4 sports channels)

 

The user-selected 4-channel view also had the same results as seen in Figure 2. KT's 4-channel view (operator or user-selected) allows all 4 channels to be independently transmitted in individual multicast streams. As a result, channels can be switched between the main and sub-windows, which makes KT's service different from others'.  

 

In summary, KT's 4-channel view service features 3 SD sub-windows (of 3.6 Mbps each, in 720x480) and one Full HD main window (of about 11Mbps, in 1920x1080). Viewing all 4 channels in UHD (3840x2160) is not technically possible, yet.

 

I personally was very satisfied with the quality of the service (both operator and user-selected options). Especially, watching 4 different news channels all at once with a peace of mind that I am not missing any news was a great experience.

 

What I liked about the service most was that I could watch just what I wanted without having to watch all the annoying advertisements. Apparently, this kind of service will change the way people watch TV from now on.

 

 

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