Tech

Movistar + and the drawbacks with 4K resolution

More and more users want to enjoy their lavish 4K Smart TVs. However, the contents do not arrive at the same speed as the devices. Something that affects different companies although it is something especially notable in the case of Movistar.

When the first televisions with Full HD resolution were launched, the broadcasts that took advantage of this new television system took a long time to arrive. In the case of 4K Smart TVs, a similar effect is taking place. Today, there is only one DTT channel that broadcasts in 4K and it does so on trial, while within the streaming platforms some content can be found in this resolution, although it is not the majority either.

This leaves us with pay television platforms, among which Movistar stands out. This operator has about five million clients in its different modalities, having the majority of the pay television market. However, despite this prominent position, the company is having certain problems with the implementation and transition to 4K content.

HD signal and UHD signal: what is the difference?

Currently, with few exceptions, all Movistar Plus channels offer a signal in HD format, although with a catch. And it is that compared to the high-quality HD format, 1080P, Movistar broadcasts in 1080i, so that in each cycle the image is not completely updated, but in one cycle the even lines are updated and the next, in others, the odd ones Something that subtracts some quality from it and speeds up its shipment.

This Full HD image, in any of its two modes, has little to do with the quality of the 4K format, which has multiplied by four the definition of said format. This translates into much clearer and more defined images, as well as the use of broader color palettes, among many other advantages. If you already have a 4K TV and have seen some content prepared for this type of screen, you already know what we are talking about. By the way, the sound also gains in quality in the 4K format, with clearer treble, more powerful bass and greater fidelity to the original sound.

Fiber customers, on the right track… or so it seems

At this point, it is time to analyze Movistar’s situation regarding the implementation of this technology. An aspect in which we have two types of clients: IPTV or Internet clients and satellite clients.

In the case of Movistar customers with Internet connections, generally fiber, access to 4K broadcasts seems to clear up after a complex time. We have to think that serving signals in 4K quality requires considerable bandwidth, so users who do not have fiber and continue with ADSL or similar connections will not be able to access these broadcasts.

In the case of fiber users, it is necessary to make some changes in the installation. The fundamental thing has to do with the decoder that connects to the television. To access the 4K channels, it is necessary to have the new Movistar decoder, which is provided by the company. Something that, as usual in this brand, is going to cost us money. Depending on our configuration, we will have to pay 20 euros for the cable decoder or 50 euros for the WiFi one, to which we must add another 50 euros for installation. So if you don’t pay enough, 4K will put another bite on your bill. At least there are no monthly fees to pay, for now. In any case, prices may change over time and also depending on the type of client we are.

Those of satellite, neither are nor are expected

Everything we have discussed for fiber users is quite recent, since 4K technology for them was launched recently. But those users who access Movistar television through satellite receivers have even worse access to these signals.

We are talking about users who do not have telephone services contracted with Movistar, most of them former users of the satellite platforms that the company bought, such as Canal Satélite Digital, the former Canal Plus, or Vía Digital, which was previously absorbed by the first business. Many of these users have switched from the satellite to the fiber system, although according to various studies at the beginning of 2022 the customer base using these services was around 600,000. A base that continues to decline, although not as much as the company would like.

The problem for Movistar users in satellite format is that the complications of the arrival of the 4K service are diverse. On the one hand, moving to this format implies reserving more space on the satellites to send a much heavier signal, so to speak, than the one in the HD format. An expense that, for now, it seems that Movistar is not very willing to deal with. In fact, there are several failed launches of the technology, with launch dates that, for now, are not met.

As if that were not enough, as has happened with fiber users, it is also necessary to make changes to the installation. This translates to changing both the decoders and the antennas. And it is that the latter are not, for the most part, adapted for the reception of these 4K signals. So the cost of installation increases, which would surely expel more users from the service if this technology were considered. All this despite the fact that in any comparison of satellite receivers it is already possible to find products with that 4K technology at a reasonable cost.

What does Movistar 4K offer?

As a final aspect, for those who first want to know what Movistar offers its clients in 4K, we are going to make a brief summary. It is important to bear in mind that this offer will grow over time, so it never hurts to check the company’s website to see the complete and updated proposal.

For now, among the main contents that are broadcast in 4K we have football, both in the League and the Champions League, although there are also several thematic channels that are working to offer their 4K versions. In parallel, we will also have exclusive content in the video on demand area, such as movies, documentaries and others. And to top it off, if you have added Netflix to your package, you can also enjoy it in this quality.

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