Insight TV Gets Technical with 4K – But Keeps Content Real

The secret sauce for Insight TV is inspirational, authentic, adrenaline-packed unscripted programming, filmed in 4K UHD HDR for millions of homes across the globe, on a 24/7 linear channel. Insight just moved to the U.S. in 2017 – CEO Rian Bester talks about what took so long, and what lies ahead.

Cynopsis: What made the US market attractive for Insight TV?

Rian Bester: The United States market is the biggest and most lucrative market in today’s world. It is also the hardest to break into, and we have had our eyes set on the United States and Canada from the very start. Once we had enough traction in Europe and Asia we turned our attention to North America.

With our content, we focus on the older millennials as a first demographic – 25-35 years old. The United States is always a frontrunner in trending topics for this target audience, so it would only make sense for us as a business to set up our channels also in the biggest TV market in the world.

Cynopsis: Why did you launch in the US in 2017?

Bester: In terms of the exact timing, some of the decision was dictated by market behavior, because the United States was the last market that we have entered to show serious behavioral change regarding UHD. Some of the reasoning for the United States market being behind the rest of the world is because of how well established its big operators are. Introducing 4K UHD content to viewers would require new set top boxes, and for better or worse, these changes may not happen until absolutely necessary. We have a very strong partner in T Mobile’s Layer 3 and are in active discussions with the larger operators as well as other smaller platforms to bring Insight TV’s compelling content to viewers across the United States. 

Cynopsis: How is Insight TV innovating in 4K program production? Can you provide specific examples?

Bester: Insight TV was the first entertainment content creator to shoot at a frame rate of 50 frames per second, and we certainly have considered ourselves to be pioneers in that space since our beginning; we have gone to great lengths to maintain the highest quality level while filming spectacular images, and always ensuring both authentic and compelling editorial integrity. 

Before many of the cameras – specifically drones and POV cameras – were able to capture imagery in the frame rate we were looking for, we had to be especially creative. I remember during one shoot, we actually had to strap a very large camera to the helmet of a producer’s wing suit in order to capture footage. 

Cynopsis: What are the main selling points for Insight TV 4K versus other 4K programming services currently available in the US?

Bester: Since Insight TV’s inception we have prided ourselves on our 4K UHD specifications and maintaining the highest technical qualifications available in the filming and production processes. Unlike many other networks, none of Insight TV’s content has been upscaled, which is to say, that all of our 4K UHD content is shot in 4K UHD. This ensures that our viewers experience the most visually appealing, consistent, and sharpest picture available.

Insight TV has a UHD content library of over 500 hours, of which a large percentage is also available in HDR. All of our original productions, starting from a few years ago, are shot on HDR Rec. 2020.

However, our technical specs aren’t the only thing driving our content. The focus is always on the authentic storytelling that goes with it. Our aim is to showcase compelling content that we believe is worth sitting down to watch and share.  

Cynopsis: What do you have to offer that other services do not in the US?

Bester: Insight TV is the only content provider that supplies its subscribers with Entertainment, Lifestyle and Extreme Sport content that is natively shot and produced in 100% 4K UHD HDR quality. Our content combines unscripted storytelling and trending topics starring social influencers like race car drivers, foodies, drone racers, soccer players and other talents our target audience is interested in. The unique thing here is that we dive into these communities and the talents within to tell their authentic stories themselves. And we obviously show it in the highest possible quality.

Cynopsis: What are you most excited about for the future?

Bester: I think more than anything I am most excited about how the viewer experience will advance. With exponential progress being made in technology like SD to HD to 4K to 8K, and in the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality spaces, it will be fascinating to see how the physical space in which we engage our content will evolve. There is so much to be learned from and entertained by the content we consume, and it will be mesmerizing to see how those experiences develop.

The Cynsiders column is a platform for industry leaders to reach out to colleagues, followers, and the public at large. In their own words and in targeted Q&As, columnists address breaking news, issues of the day, and the larger changes going on in the ever-evolving world of television, video and digital. Cynsiders columns live on Cynopsis’ main page and are promoted across all daily newsletters. We welcome readers’ comments, queries, and column ideas at [email protected].

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