Regional Variation in Broadcast technology Trends — HDTV Still Top Trend

Posted by Joe Zaller
Jun 22 2009

In a previous post about broadcast  industry trends, I looked at at a ranking of top trends in the broadcast industry and made the comment that there  is considerable variation in response when you segment data by geography and customer type.  One of the really interesting things about the data in the 2009 BBS is that is can be sliced and diced in many ways, thereby providing insight through granular analysis. 

Here’s an example of how trends can vary by geographic region:

2009 BBS trends -- regional variations

 This chart shows responses to the same question as the previous post — i.e.  “please choose from this list the top three trends that will most affect the way your company does business over the next 2-3 years” — from the point of view of people in different geographies.  Once again, a simple weighting formula was used to generate these rankings — if  a technology was ranked 1st (weight=3), 2nd (weight=2) or 3rd(weight=1).  This was done to illustrate the relative importance of  each technology trend to the respondent.  The trends in this chart are then expressed as a percentage of the total weighted votes.  As you can see, there are some interesting differences between the views of respondents in the Americas, EMEA and Asia.

While the transition to HDTV is still the top trend for all three geographies, there are differences in how important this trend is to the businesses of the respondents.  In the Americas, the transition to HDTV scores 23.79%; in EMEA is scores 21.92% and in Asia is scores 17.36%.  There are similar difference in the scores of the “file-based workflows” question.  This trend appears significantly more important to Europeans than it is to Americas and especially to respondents in Asia.

 A couple more observations:

  • Transition to HD and tapeless workflows are the top two trends in all three regions — despite the variations in importance of these trends relative to one another
  • Some of the trends that are in the news these days — e.g. transition to 3Gbps and 3DTV did not score particularly high.  Perhaps the reason we read about these trends in trade publications is that this vendors want to push the next new thing, while their customers want to complete the transition (to HD or tapeless for example) that they are in the middle of now, rather than worrying about the next new thing.
  • A few of the more “advanced” trends (multi-platform content delivery, 3D TV) scored higher in Asia than they did in the Americas or EMEA

Here’s the full list of the 15 trends from the study, ranked in order for each region.

       EMEA Americas Asia
1      Transition to HDTV Transition to HDTV Transition to HDTV
2      Tapeless Workflows Tapeless workflows Tapeless Workflows
3      File-based workflows IP content delivery Multi-platform content delivery
4      IP content delivery File-based workflows IP content delivery
5      Multi-platform content delivery Multi-platform content delivery Automated workflows
6      Automated workflows Video on Demand Advanced encoding techniques
7      Advanced encoding techniques Automated workflows Video on Demand
8      Video on Demand Advanced encoding techniques 3D TV
9      Transition to 3Gbps Transition to 3Gbps File-based workflows
10     On-line advertising On-line advertising Transition to 3Gbps
11     2K production 3D TV Set-top box PVR/DVR
12     4K production 2K production 2K production
13     Set-top box PVR/DVR 4K production On-line advertising
14     3D TV Set-top box PVR/DVR Network DVR
15     Network DVR Network DVR 4K production 

3 Responses

  1. Andrew Pearce says:

    I have been working on several large and complex systems in Europe and Middle east and both systems have had moved en masse to encompass HDTV.
    The cost used to be the contributing factor when designing an HDTV system and most customers would not be able to go to HD immediately. We would design the system cabling to be able to cope with the new format so when they decided the time was right then a clear upgrade path was clear to use. Now the cost of this equipment has come down sufficiently where by most people can afford all or in part an HD system.
    Where the trend is for HD systems that does raise an eye brow is the area of Web streaming. The internet structure system may not be able to fully support HDTV signals without heavy compression, I have found that the companies I have advised and dealt with all want an HD system even though it is eventually an internet streamed output.
    They want the best quality they can provide for their customers and the cost of equipment has come down sufficiently for this to be a reality for most people. The latest generation of web streamers can and do provide a good quality signal (albeit heavily compressed) that can withstand being displayed on large size LCD/Plasma screens without too much loss in performance.
    What is more surprising is that whilst Standard definition (270Mb) is still good and most people would not see the difference, owners of facilities are asking for HDTV systems even though there is no logical reason to go away from SDI.
    The hype and their customer pressure to have the lastest gadgets is the driving force to have an HDTV studio, edit suites etc, no matter the region they are in.
    Also on the systems integration side of things the design and installation of HD systems requires careful thought due to extreme coaxial cable losses. Whilst we can cope with cabling within 1 rack any signals being transported to adjacent or other relatively short distances are subject to being sent down large diameter coaxial cables, these are very expensive and difficult to dress and install.

    So, to conclude this blog, I see that all regions are now considering HDTV systems even though SDI would be perfectly legitimate and easier to use.
    The cost and availability of HD equipment has come down to the point where most existing and new customers can now consider to go to HD immediately.
    The last and most interesting feature is that nearly all customers now want a tapeless enviroment and nearly all manufacturers of servers, disk recorders, playout etc can cope with multiple signal formats, HD, SDI and even low res (windows media files) making the tranisition to HD a clear and easy path to follow.

  2. You know so many interesting infomation. You might be very wise. I like such people. Don’t top writing.

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