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Cable Technology Feature Article

June 11, 2013

Comcast Reveals Incredible Download Speeds for 4K Ultra HD Video

By Joe Rizzo, TMCnet Contributing Writer

In 1996, Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast (News - Alert) Corporation, demonstrated a 10Mbps connection for the first time. He followed this by downloading the Encyclopedia Britannica over a 160Mbps connection in 2007. This was accomplished over a new DOCSIS 3.0 modem. Then in 2011, Roberts showed us a 1Gbps broadband connection for the first time.

Just two years later, Roberts demonstrated the first 3+Gbps broadband connection. To show how fast this connection is, he opened an e-mail and downloaded a 4K Ultra HD video file to a PC. This download was completed in a matter of seconds.

The demonstrations throughout the years have all taken place at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA (News - Alert)) Cable Show. This year it is taking place this week in Washington, D.C.

Roberts said that Comcast would also be demonstrating the first public U.S.-based delivery of 4K Ultra HD video. Comcast will do this over its existing fiber/HFC network at the NCTA show. 4K Ultra HD video presents a display resolution that is four times greater than today’s 1080p high definition standard can offer. It also offers one of the highest quality pictures possible today.

Since the days of the first 10Mbps connections, the American broadband industry has invested somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2 trillion. This has all been in the attempts of being able to deliver faster speeds to the consumer.

At the center of Comcast’s network is its 140,000-route-mile fiber backbone. This backbone stretches everywhere across the country. In fact, it is enough fiber to wrap around the earth six times. Roberts said, “Comcast has one of the fastest networks in the world with tremendous flexibility, the greatest capacity, and the best economics to deliver America’s high-speed future to millions. These demonstrations reinforce the capability of our existing network while showing we are ready today to take consumers wherever the future of broadband speed and video technology may go.”

Even though 4K Ultra HD is in the early stages, Comcast is keeping ahead of the pack. It is ready to deliver what could be the next generation of video.  As the content and devices are developed and can become more readily available for use in consumers’ homes, Comcast will be there to deliver the speed.

Being able to download a 4K Ultra HD video in a matter of seconds demonstrates that Comcast can deliver the speed necessary to be able to enjoy it. It also is another feather in its cap – a cap that has a lot of feathers going back to 1996.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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