Posts Tagged ‘cloud video’

Commercial Drivers and Obstacles for the Deployment of Cloud-Based Technology in the Broadcast Industry

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Sep 24 2012

This is the eighth in a series of articles about some of the findings from the 2012 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of broadcast industry trends, technology purchasing plans, and benchmarking of broadcast technology vendor brands. Nearly 10,000 broadcast professionals in 100+ countries took part in the 2012 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever conducted in the broadcast industry.


Cloud computing is one of the hot topics in the broadcast industry in 2012, but our research shows that it’s still early days for deployments of this technology in the broadcast industry.  This article looks at the commercial drivers for implementing cloud technology, what potential buyers view as obstacles to deploying cloud technology, and to whom cloud technology is most important commercially in 2012.


About this time last year, we met with a large number of industry executives to discuss what broadcast industry trends to add, if any, to Devoncroft’s annual global study of the broadcast industry, the Big Broadcast Survey (BBS).

During our meetings with more than 50 industry executives, one trend was mentioned virtually every time – “cloud computing / cloud-based services.”  However, when we asked what specific information about cloud technology these people wanted to know, there was a wide divergence of opinion.  Some were interested in how broadcasters plan to use cloud technology, and what parts of the workflow broadcasters might migrate to the cloud first.  Others wanted to know if broadcasters would simply transfer existing workflows to the cloud, or whether cloud technology will enable entirely new workflows.  And finally there were some who confessed that they didn’t actually know what they wanted to know; they just wanted to understand more about cloud technology and its implications for the broadcast industry.  Ultimately, we added questions about cloud technology to the 2012 BBS in an attempt to answer some of these questions.

As seen in Figure 1 the nearly 10,000 respondents to the 2012 BBS who we asked to prioritize the commercial importance to their businesses of a variety of broadcast industry trends, ranked “cloud computing / cloud-based services” #7 out of 16 in our 2012 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trends Index.

Although cloud technology ranks in the top half of our 2012 Trends Index, it is significantly below other topics such as multi-platform content delivery and other traditional drivers of spending such as the transition to HDTV, and the move to file-based workflows.

Figure 1: The 2012 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trends Index


Commercial Drivers and Obstacles for Cloud Technology in Broadcast

To better understand the commercial drivers behind the answers of these respondents, we asked, we asked those respondents who said that “cloud computing / cloud-based services” was the most important trend to their commercial success in the future why they feel this is the case.  The results are shown in the table below.


Figure 2: Commercial Drivers for Deployment of Cloud Technology in Broadcast Industry


The top commercial drivers cited by broadcast customers for deploying cloud technology in the broadcast industry highlight the fact “cloud technology / cloud services” are principally viewed today as way to enable new workflows and increase efficiencies.  While potential cost savings — achieved through increased efficiencies, shifting costs to OpEx, and SaaS services —  are arguably the most straightforward rationale for deploying cloud technology, these results imply that customers also see the cloud as a potential driver of revenue, particularly if it enables new workflows, drives collaboration, and increases the overall utilization of content.

While the benefits of deploying cloud technology are relatively clear, it is also useful to understand the obstacles that customers feel may prevent them from deploying this technology today.  These are shown below in Figure 3, which since we are discussing cloud, is displayed in the form of a word cloud. Keep in mind that the people describing these obstacles to deploying cloud technology / service, are in fact a representative sample of the biggest proponents of cloud technology in the broadcast industry.

Figure 3: Obstacles to Deploying Cloud Technology in Broadcast Industry


Even those who regard cloud technology as the most important commercial driver for their business over the next several years note a wide range of obstacles preventing them from deploying it today.  The most commonly cited factors are budget/cost, availability of bandwidth, content security, and the perception that cloud technology is too immature for broadcast applications.  Other factors cited as obstacles include lack of skilled personnel, rights issues, internal bureaucracy, and disruption to existing workflows.

Despite these obstacles, customers are seriously investigating this technology, and technology vendors are investing in the development of a wide variety of cloud technologies and services.


Relative Importance of Cloud Technology

Given the hype surrounding cloud technology, and the level of investment from vendors, it is perhaps not surprising to find that technology suppliers — represented in the chart below by systems integrators and vendors — see cloud technology as more important to their commercial success than do their customers.


Figure 4: Technology buyers versus sellers: Relative importance of cloud technology



Indeed, it turns out that those respondents who are most interested in, and have the most to gain commercially in 2012 from “cloud technology / cloud services” are the parties whose business is developing and selling cloud technology.


Figure 5: Commercial Importance of Cloud Technology by Respondent Type


This does not mean that the concept of cloud in broadcast is not important.  Our research confirms that there is considerable interest in deploying cloud technology and cloud services in the broadcast industry.

However, it appears that significant issues, including immature technology, cost, security, bandwidth, and viable business models, must be overcome before cloud technology can deliver commercial success that lives up to the hype it has generated over the past year.



A previous version of this article appeared in the 2012 IBC Daily News.



The information in this article is based on select  findings from the 2012 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of broadcast industry trends, technology purchasing plans, and benchmarking of broadcast technology vendor brands. Nearly 10,000 broadcast professionals in 100+ countries took part in the 2012 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever conducted in the broadcast industry. The BBS is published annually by Devoncroft Partners.

Granular analysis of these results is available as part of various paid-for reports based on the 2012 BBS data set. For more information about this report, please contact Devoncroft Partners.



Related Content:

The 2012 Big Broadcast Survey – Information and available reports

The 2012 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

Tracking the Evolution of Broadcast Industry Trends 2009 – 2012

Analyzing Where is Money Being Spent in the Broadcast Industry – The 2012 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index

Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 1 – The 2012 BBS Overall Brand Opinion League Table

Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 2 – The 2012 BBS Net Change of Overall Brand Opinion League Table

Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 3 — 2012 BBS Global Brand Opinion Leaders League Table. 

Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 4 — the 2012 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Innovation League Table



© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2012. All Rights Reserved.  No part of this article, including but not limited to charts, images, data presentation, and numerical findings may be reproduced without written permission from Devoncroft Partners.




IBC 2011 Trends: Cloud, Channel-in-a-Box, 3D

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Sep 30 2011

Note: This article was originally published last week by TVNewsCheck

Technology vendors at IBC answered the broadcasters’ call for efficiency in a variety of ways, including “cloud” oriented product offerings, highly integrated IT-based systems for broadcast playout, and the introduction of new versions of existing systems that are smaller and less featured, but more affordable to broadcasters with limited budgets.

Also on display at the annual tech show, which wrapped up a six-day run in Amsterdam last week and drew more than 50,000 professionals, were technologies aimed at making 3D production more affordable and compatible with standard 2D operations.

Many vendors were touting the advantages of deploying some type of cloud-based or service-oriented architecture (SOA) applications such as capturing, producing, processing and distributing video and audio as digital files.

Cloud services are drawing attention because broadcasters are being challenged to support an ever-increasing number of distribution platforms. The breadth and rapidly changing nature of the multi-screen environment makes it difficult for even large broadcasters to deploy the appropriate hardware and software solutions in an affordable and timely manner. Thus, broadcasters are now increasingly willing to contemplate outsourcing some of these functions to cloud-based technologies and services.

Many vendors at IBC demonstrated technologies to address some of the fundamental concerns that broadcasters have about cloud-based architectures, notably content security, access to content, collaboration, bandwidth and workflow continuity.

Avid, Chyron, Grass Valley, Panasonic, Sony, Quantel and Vizrt showed their own methods for deploying “media-friendly” SOAs that provide a common interface and pre-authorized access to a wide variety of production tools from every staff member’s desktop.

In addition, the Advanced Media Workflow Association, the European Broadcasting Union and SMPTE came together to develop a standard for configuring an SOA that would allow each manufacturer’s equipment to talk to each other. The effort stems from the vendors’ realization that — due to R&D cost efficiencies — their next-generation products will be predominantly software based and operate best in this type of networked environment.

SOAs also help broadcasters produce and distribute content much more efficiently and allow staff to collaborate even though they may be in separate locations.

Many of these IT-centric concepts are not new ideas, but are now becoming attractive to the video production and broadcasting communities, looking to do more with the same resources. Industry connectivity to Internet protocol (IP) infrastructures has matured and newer consumer-industry file transfer technologies — like IP, HDMI and Apple/Intel’s Thunderbolt — offer benefits for broadcasters that were not apparent before.

Another significant hub of IT-oriented activity at the IBC was in the area of IT-based playout or, as it is more commonly known, channel in a box. These systems offer the promise of dramatically reducing the cost of broadcast playout by enabling users to migrate to off-the-shelf IT hardware running software that integrates, automates and replaces much of the traditional broadcast master control infrastructure.

Technology in this area had matured significantly over the past 6-12 months, and is now are under serious consideration by a number of large and small broadcasters around the world. Miranda Technologies, which became the de facto leader in this emerging field when it acquired the OmniBus Systems’ iTX platform last year, showed the latest advances in its IT-based playout offerings.

Other notable players in this space include traditional broadcast suppliers such as Snell and Evertz, as well as smaller specialized players like Playbox and VSN. Significantly, other large technology vendors are rumored to be readying competing systems that will be introduced in time for the annual NAB Show in April 2012.

In addition to the increasing drive for increased efficiencies, many IBC attendees were gearing up for the high-profile sporting and political events of 2012. In some cases, that means 3D. While the technology has yet to even be considered by local broadcasters in the U.S., a variety of live sports production companies across Europe are already producing events like soccer and rugby in 3D or are anticipating that they will by the time of the Olympics in London.

The games will be the first in 3D, with many events, including the opening and closing ceremonies, produced in the format. Panasonic will be supplying large quantities of 3D cameras and other gear.

Avatar director and 3D pioneer James Cameron put in appearances at several places at the IBC, promoting his new company, The Cameron/Pace Group, and urging industry professionals to pursue and help develop new tools for producing 2D and 3D content simultaneously.

According to Cameron, it’s the only way to stimulate the market to develop much-need original 3D content, and, in turn, spur 3D TV set sales. Previously, the cost of producing 3D has been prohibitive for everyone but a fortunate few who are being sponsored by TV set manufacturers.

“We’re on a relentless path to grow the 3D business,” said Cameron, at the Grass Valley IBC press conference. “We’ve been in the 3D game for 12 years now. We are so excited about what’s happening right now [with 3D] but it’s a little bit daunting staying ahead of the rapid rate of technology change, so we have to have powerful alliances with people that are major players in broadcast who will be able to fulfill this future and supply the kind of quality 3D that people enjoy.”

At the same press conference, Cameron’s partner (and equally influential 3D pioneer) Vince Pace said, “It’s so critical to the industry that we integrate the solutions and come up with a very clean and determined business plan that makes sense to the industry to increase the amount of 3D productions. So, this business of saying we have fewer cameras or we don’t tell the whole story is going to go away.”

IBC attendance was up slightly this year (4%, according to the IBC, to 50,462), again signaling that broadcasters are spending money — on hardware and T&E. Unlike last year, there were several representatives of all the major U.S. TV networks.



More Broadcast Vendor M&A: Haivision Acquires KulaByte and MontiVision; Forms Internet Media Division

Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 21 2011

IP video distribution provider Haivision announced that it has acquired two companies –KulaByte Corporation of San Marcos, Texas, and MontiVision Imaging Technologies based in Germany.

Terms were not disclosed.

Haivision says that with the addition of KulaByte and MontiVision that it expects “to surpass revenues of $50 million next year.”

The technologies acquired in these transactions, which include encoding, transcoding, cloud computing, and workflow solutions, to form a new “Internet Media Division” within Haivision, which will be focused on developing technologies to deliver OTT media and to power enterprise social media networks.

Haivision named Chafye Nemri EVP of this new division and KulaByte’s CEO Peter Forman as Vice President of Internet Media,  responsible for developing the division’s cloud services.

KulaByte is a provider of live software-based encoding and transcoding technologies. Its cloud-based HyperStream product is designed to convert video sources into a variety of formats and data rates required to distribute live video via the Internet to multiple viewing platforms.

MontiVision, a partner in the creation development of KulaByte products, is a development company focused on delivering technologies for video acquisition, machine vision, surveillance, and medical imaging applications.


Related Content:

Press Release: Haivision Acquires KulaByte and MontiVision; Forms Internet Media Division



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