Tonight's announcement by Foxtel that it would launch a high-definition 4K channel is the "biggest change in television in a decade", tech expert Trevor Long has said.
Foxtel's decision will see it follow in the footsteps of streaming mainstays Netflix and Stan.
"The idea that not just now but in the future we'll get this high-definition picture without needing the internet and on a better picture quality for the things we're watching, it's a big deal," Mr Long told A Current Affair. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty LtdFoxtel will launch a 4K channel in October.
4K broadcasts will offer 20 times the resolution of standard definition TV, Foxtel has claimed.
Mr Long said it was also another advance in the streaming wars.
"Plenty of people have cancelled their Foxtel and gone onto a streaming service, even Foxtel's own streaming service," Mr Long said.
"This will claw customers back and I think it will be an incentive for a lot of people." © Provided by Nine Digital Pty LtdThe development could haul customers back from streaming services such as Netflix.
From October, Foxtel customers who have a Foxtel Platinum HD pack ($139 a month) or a Foxtel Sports HD pack ($65 a month) will have access to the channel at no extra cost.
However, they will have to update their Foxtel box to an IQ4 device, which can deliver live TV.
Foxtel's Patrick Delany said the channel would offer a selection of documentaries, music concerts and movies, and would broadcast live cricket from November. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd4K content is already available on Netflix and Stan.
Stan CEO Mike Sneezby said an increasing number of viewers were spending extra for the premium package to access higher picture quality.
Netflix also charges a higher monthly price for ultra HD access.
"It's a competitive space and I've got no doubt that the free-to-air networks are working very hard so over the next few years we will see 4K on free-to-air," Mr Long said.