ZDF’s “Mythos Wolfskind” Exposes Pay TV & Broadcaster 4K Challenges

by Simon Thompson

– Documentary Can Only Be Viewed in 4K Over-the-Net
– ‘Mythos Wolfskind’ Addresses Questions that Tarzan’s Story Raised

Ever since The Online Reporter ran the story “4K TV Sets: ‘Once You Watch One, You Can’t Go Back’” in October 2012 and “4K TV Could Be Opportunity for Pay TV and OTT Services” in December 2012, our regular readers have known that 4K videos and 4K TVs, smartphones and tablets were coming.

They are here now and have spread to every corner of the globe.

The Chinese have purchased more 4K TVs than any other country.

Every studio has committed not only to 4K but also to HDR, which makes 4K (and 1080p) look even better.

Prices of 4K sets have dropped to where 1080p HD sets were two years ago.

So it’s no surprise that Germany’s public service broadcaster is (finally) showing its first documentary completely in 4K.

Germany’s public service broadcaster ZDF will show its first documentary that is completely produced in 4K on September 25, 2016. ARTE, the public service French-German TV network and European cultural channel, will broadcast the program first on September 24, 2016.

The documentary is “Mythos Wolfskind – Mogli und die wilden Kinder” which, like the Tarzan books and movies of the past, addresses the question of whether a child can possibly survive outside civilization, without parental care and totally on its own or with animals such as wolves.

But alas! Neither ZDF nor ARTE transmit in 4K over wireline and satellite pay TV, so those broadcasts will be in HD and SD resolution.

It’s a sad comment on broadcasters and pay TV’s inability to see four years ago that 4K was coming and coming on a massive scale – much sooner than 1080p took hold.

They are only just now getting ready for 4K and its companion technology HDR.

Viewers that want to see it in 4K will have to download it from the Web site of ZDF’s documentary series Terra X as well as through its HbbTV portal on smart TV sets: By pressing the red button on 4K TV sets, the documentary can be watched in 4K at catch-up service ZDFmediathek.

That shows the head-in-the-sand mentality of broadcasters and pay TV services.

Perhaps they haven’t yet figured out how to spell “4K.”

At least four OTT services are offering content in 4K – although that does not include the once technology supremo Apple.

Speaking of which, whatever happened to the Apple TV set? Did it get caught short in the TV makers’ race for supremacy in 4K sets?

For viewers with virtual reality (VR) glasses, ZDF will also provide 360° footage in 3D on its VR Web site.

It appears that antiquated broadcasters and pay TV services will also miss out on VR just as they have on 4K and HDR.

Interestingly HDR 1080p content can be …

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