Staying on top of the latest technology trends in the broadcasting space can be a challenge. The broadcasting industry is one of those industries, which is all set to customize, implement, and exploit the opportunities provided by technologies on a big scale. How will the broadcasting industry shape up in 2019? With over 18 years of broadcast experience and expertise in sound/audio production, I discuss how three major trends in broadcasting will impact broadcasters and consumers.
4K on the rise – New formats
4K technology has grown in popularity over the last four to five years. 4K-supported televisions outnumber HD televisions in any electronics store, while UHD movies and TV series are available on popular streaming services such as Netflix, and Amazon Prime. So why are broadcasters not yet offering an abundance of 4K content? It boils down to cost. Broadcasters need to consider whether the investment in the bandwidth and equipment necessary to produce and distribute 4K content is worthwhile, especially since the primary delivery mechanism is through digital transmission, i.e., via DTTV, IP, or satellite. The 4K content is ready and available, so broadcasters will be actively looking for a cost-effective means to get 4K out to a broader audience.
SMPTE ST 2110 – New connectivity
The SMPTE ST 2110 standard is rapidly gaining traction within the professional media industries in European countries, and for a good reason! Many broadcasters want to update or expand their facilities but are looking at enterprise IT infrastructure as a model to do so. Broadcasters now have a choice of remaining with existing SDI infrastructure or renewing facilities using SMPTE ST 2110, IT-based systems. The SMPTE ST 2110 standard replaces the need for SDI routers and dedicated SDI video production systems, by defining a standard way to transmit uncompressed audio and video data across high-performance IT networks. Indian broadcast industry is not far away.
Remote production, new workflows
With the rise of high-bandwidth wide area network (WAN) connectivity, whether public or private, broadcasters have begun looking at remote integration (REMI) or remote at-home productions. This involves sending raw high-quality camera feeds from the field over IP to a centralized live production system. Broadcasters can, in turn, improve efficiency and minimize costs by using these in-house or cloud-based production systems to produce high-quality live programming.
With remote production, fewer staff and equipment are required in the field—lowering travel expenses and logistical costs. The studio is also able to cover multiple events in a single day with the same personnel. Another cost-efficient option is to send remote feeds directly to cloud-based production software, whose program outputs can be directly transmitted to over-the-top (OTT) and social media platforms.
Capitalizing on these trends
Find a multi-functional product that can ably manage the various current and emerging technological requirements. Matrox Monarch EDGE, for example, is a multi-channel broadcast contribution and remote production encoder equipped with SDI and SMPTE ST 2110 connections. This low-power, 4K appliance encodes UHD feeds up to 3840×2160 50/60 fps for web and broadcast contributions at exceptionally low latencies and bitrates, without compromising on quality. Monarch EDGE also serves as a remote feed encoder for REMI productions, whether produced in the cloud or with in-house equipment.