Posts Tagged ‘Signiant’

2016 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) Reports Now Available

broadcast technology market research, Broadcast Vendor Brand Research, market research | Posted by Josh Stinehour
Jul 21 2016

The 2016 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) Reports are now available.

We have been publishing the BBS Reports since 2009.  Each new edition is created through several months of research, including interviews with technology end-users, global surveys of technology decision makers, analysis of the end-user responses, and visualization of the data collected.  Now in its eighth year of publication, the BBS remains the most comprehensive annual study of technology end-users in the global broadcast and media technology industry.  Nearly 10,000 technology professionals in 100+ countries participate in the BBS each year, making it the largest market study of the media technology industry.

Based on feedback from technology vendors, media companies, and investors, we have updated the vendors, product categories, and market trends profiled in the 2016 BBS to better align with recent market developments.

Select updates include the global tracking of IP Standard Adoption, a product level review of the 4K upgrade cycle, and planned usage of programmatic advertising exchanges.

The continual updates over the past eight years have helped the BBS reports remain a critical reference for industry executives to improve strategic decision-making, customer engagement, marketing strategy, product planning, and sales execution.  In addition to technology vendor and service provider strategic planning, BBS reports are also used frequently for M&A and investment activities by both buyers and sellers.

Three types of 2016 BBS reports are available:

  • 2016 BBS Global Brand Reports: provides deep insight into how each more than 100 broadcast technology suppliers (see full list below) are perceived by market participants, along with comprehensive benchmarking of broadcast technology vendors on a wide variety of metrics
  • 2016 BBS Product Reports: provide detailed information from buyers, specifiers, and users of broadcast technology products in 32 separate categories (see full list below)
  • 2016 BBS Global Market Report: provides detailed information about industry trends, major projects being planned, products being evaluated for purchase, current and future plant infrastructure, broadcast technology budgets, and planned deployment of new technologies including 4K, HEVC compression, and IP-based technology infrastructure

 

For additional information on the 2016 BBS report, please call or email me.

As is Devoncroft’s custom, we will publish highlights from this year’s BBS reports on the Devoncroft website.  These articles are posted on a semi-regular basis, so please check back often.

To receive posts when published, please enter register with your email in the box in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

The below table of logos (in alphabetical order) lists the technology vendor brands covered in the 2016 BBS.

2016-BBS-Logos

 

Technology Product Categories & Vendor Brands Covered in the 2016 BBS, by Application Area

 

Acquisition & Production:

ENG Cameras

Canon, Hitachi, Ikegami, JVC, Panasonic, Sony

Large Format Single Sensor Cameras

ARRI, Blackmagic Design, Canon, Red, Sony

Production Switchers

Blackmagic Design, For-A, Grass Valley, NewTek, Panasonic, Ross Video, SAM, Sony

Studio / System Cameras

Grass Valley, Hitachi, Ikegami, JVC, Panasonic, Sony

 

 

Post Production: 

Graphics & Branding

Adobe, Autodesk, Avid/Orad, ChyronHego, Evertz, Grass Valley, Imagine Communications, Ross Video, Vizrt

Video Editing

Adobe, Apple, Avid, Blackmagic Design, EVS, Grass Valley, Imagine Communications, Sony

 

 

Content Communications and Infrastructure:

Bonded Cellular

Dejero, LiveU, Teradek, TVU

Routing Switchers

Blackmagic Design, Evertz, Grass Valley, Imagine Communications, Ross Video, SAM, Utah Scientific

Signal Processing / Interfacing / Modular

Aja Video, Axon, Blackmagic Design, Evertz, For-A, Grass Valley, Imagine Communication, Ross Video, SAM

Video Transport

Aspera, Cisco, Ericsson, Evertz, Harmonic, Imagine Communications, Lawo, Media Links, Net Insight, Nevion, Riedel, Signiant

 

 

Storage:

High Performance Shared Storage:

Avid, Harmonic, Hitachi, HPE, Isilon Systems/EMC, NetApp, Quantum

Playout / Transmission Servers

Avid, EVS, Grass Valley, Harmonic, Imagine Communications, Ross Video

Production Servers

EVS, Grass Valley, Harmonic, Rohde & Schwarz, SAM

 

 

Audio:

Audio Consoles

Avid, Calrec, Lawo, Salzbrenner Stagetec, Solid State Logic (SSL), Soundcraft, Studer, Wheatstone, Yamaha

Audio Processing & Monitoring

Adobe, Avid, Dolby, Linear Acoustic, RTW, TSL, Wohler

Intercom / Talkback

Clear-Com, Riedel, RTS Intercom Systems, Trilogy

Microphones

AKG, Audio-Technica, beyerdynamic, Electro Voice, Marshall Electronics, Neumann, Schoeps, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony

Monitors (speakers)

Adam, Avid, Focal, Genelec, JBL, KRK Systems, Mackie, Neumann, PMC,

 

 

System Automation and Control:

Broadcast Business Management Systems

arvato/S4M, Imagine Communications, MediageniX, MSA Focus, SintecMedia, Wide Orbit

Archive & Archive Management

Masstech, Oracle/Front Porch Digital, Quantum, SGL, XenData

Media Asset Management

arvato/S4M, Avid, Dalet, EVS, Imagine Communications, Prime Focus Technologies, Vizrt, VSN

Playout Automation

Grass Valley, Imagine Communications, Pebble Beach, Playbox, Snell

Workflow Orchestration / BPM

Aspera, Avid, Imagine Communications, IBM, Sony, Telestream

 

 

Playout and Delivery:

Encoding / Transcoding

Arris, ateme, Cisco, Dalet/AmberFin, Elemental Technologies, Ericsson, Harmonic, Imagine Communications, Telestream

Integrated Playout (Channel in a Box)

Evertz, Grass Valley, Harmonic, Imagine Communications, Pebble Beach, Playbox, SAM

On-line / Streaming Video Delivery Platforms

Brightcove, Kaltura, Neulion, Ooyala, Piksel

Transmitters

GatesAir, Hitachi, NEC, Plisch, Rohde & Schwarz, Screen Service, Toshiba

 

 

Test, Quality Control and Monitoring:

Multiviewers

Avitech, Axon, Evertz, For-A, Grass Valley, Imagine Communications

Test & Measurement

Imagine Communications, IneoQuest, Leader, Phabrix, Rohde & Schwarz, Tektronix

 

 

© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2016. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

2015 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) Reports Now Available

broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Aug 04 2015

The 2015 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) Reports have now been published and are available from Devoncroft Partners.

We have been publishing the BBS Reports since 2009.  Each new edition is created through several months of research, including interviews with technology end-users, global surveys of technology decision makers, analysis of the end-user responses, and visualization of the data collected.  Now in its seventh year of publication, the BBS remains the most comprehensive annual study of technology end-users in the global broadcast and media technology industry.  Nearly 10,000 technology professionals in 100+ countries participated in the 2015 BBS, making it once again the largest market study of the media technology industry.

Based on feedback from technology vendors, media companies, and investors, we have updated the vendors, product categories, and market trends profiled in the 2015 BBS to better align with recent market developments.

These updates help ensure the BBS reports remains a critical reference for industry executives to improve strategic decision-making, customer engagement, marketing strategy, product planning, and sales execution.  In addition to technology vendor and service provider strategic planning, BBS reports are also used frequently for M&A and investment activities by both buyers and sellers.

Three types of 2015 BBS reports are available:

  • 2015 BBS Global Brand Reports: provides deep insight into how each more than 100 broadcast technology suppliers (see full list below) are perceived by market participants, along with comprehensive benchmarking of broadcast technology vendors on a wide variety of metrics

 

  • 2015 BBS Product Reports: provide detailed information from buyers, specifiers, and users of broadcast technology products in 30 separate categories (see full list below)

 

  • 2015 BBS Global Market Report: provides detailed information about industry trends, major projects being planned, products being evaluated for purchase, current and future plant infrastructure, broadcast technology budgets, and planned deployment of new technologies including 4K, HEVC compression, and IP-based technology infrastructure

 

For additional information on the 2015 BBS report, please email us.

As is Devoncroft’s custom, we will publish selected highlights from this year’s BBS reports on the Devoncroft website.  These articles are posted on a semi-regular basis, so please check back often.

To receive posts when published, please enter register with your email in the box in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

The tables below list the  technology vendor brands and product categories covered in the 2015 BBS.

 

All Brands Covered in 2015 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS)


Product Categories Covered in the 2015 Big Broadcast Survey

Technology Products & Vendor Brands Covered in the 2015 BBS, by Application Area

 

Acquisition & Production:

Camera Lenses

Angenieux, Canon, Fujinon

 

ENG Cameras

Canon, Hitachi, Ikegami, JVC, Panasonic, Sony

 

Large Format Single Sensor Cameras

ARRI, Blackmagic Design, Canon, Red Digital Cinema, Sony

 

Production Switchers

Blackmagic Design, Broadcast Pix, For-A, Grass Valley, NewTek, Panasonic, Ross Video, Snell, Sony

 

Studio/System Cameras

Grass Valley, Hitachi, Ikegami, JVC, Panasonic, Sony

 

 

Post Production:

 

Graphics & Branding

Adobe, Autodesk, Avid, ChyronHego, Evertz, Grass Valley, Imagine Communications, Orad, Pixel Power, Ross Video, Vizrt

 

Transcoding / Streaming

Dalet/AmberFin, Elemental Technologies, Envivio, Harmonic, Imagine Communications, Telestream

 

Video Editing

Adobe, Apple, Avid, EVS, Grass Valley, Imagine Communications, Sony

 

Infrastructure:

Bonded Cellular

Dejero, LiveU, Teradek, TVU, Vislink

 

Routing Switchers

Blackmagic Design, Evertz, Grass Valley, Imagine Communications, Nevion, Pesa, Ross Video, Snell, Utah Scientific

 

Signal Processing / Interfacing / Modular

Aja Video, Axon, Blackmagic Design, Evertz, For-A, Grass Valley, Imagine Communication, Ross Video, Snell

 

Video Transport

Arris, Aspera, Cisco, Ericsson, Evertz, Harmonic, Imagine Communications, Media Links, Net Insight, Nevion, Riedel, Signiant

 

 

Audio:

Audio Consoles

Avid, Calrec, Lawo, Salzbrenner Stagetec, Solid State Logic (SSL), Soundcraft, Studer, Wheatstone, Yamaha

 

Audio Processing & Monitoring

Adobe, Avid, Dolby, Linear Acoustic, RTW, TSL, Wohler

 

Intercom / Talkback

Clear-Com, Riedel, RTS Intercom Systems, Trilogy

 

Microphones

AKG, Audio-Technica, beyerdynamic, Electro Voice, Marshall Electronics, Neumann, Schoeps, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony

 

Monitors (speakers)

Adam, Avid, Focal, Genelec, JBL, KRK Systems, Mackie, Neumann, PMC,

 

 

Storage:

High Performance Shared Storage:

Avid, Harmonic, HP, IBM, Isilon Systems/EMC, NetApp, Quantum

 

Playout / Transmission Servers

Avid, EVS, Grass Valley, Harmonic, Imagine Communications, Ross Video

 

Production Servers

Avid, EVS, Grass Valley, Harmonic, Quantel

 

 

System Automation and Control:

Broadcast Business Management Systems

arvato/S4M, Imagine Communications, MediageniX, MSA Focus, SintecMedia/Pilat Media, VSN, Wide Orbit

 

Archive & Archive Management

ASG/Atempo, Masstech, Oracle/Front Porch Digital, Quantum, SGL, XenData

 

Playout Automation

Grass Valley, Imagine Communications, Pebble Beach, Playbox, Snell

 

Workflow / Asset Management

arvato/S4M, Avid, Dalet/Amberfin, EVS, Imagine Communications, Sony, Vizrt, VSN

 

 

Playout and Delivery:

Integrated Playout (Channel in a Box)

Evertz, Grass Valley, Harmonic, Imagine Communications, Pebble Beach, Playbox, Snell, Thomson Video Networks

 

On-line / Streaming Video Delivery Platforms

Brightcove, Kaltura, Ooyala, Piksel

 

Transmission Encoders

Arris, ATEME, Cisco, Elemental Technologies, Envivio, Ericsson, Harmonic, Imagine Communications, Thomson Video Networks

 

Transmitters

GatesAir, Hitachi, NEC, Plisch, Rohde & Schwarz, Screen Service, Toshiba

 

 

Test, Quality Control and Monitoring:

 

Multiviewers

Avitech, Axon, Evertz, For-A, Grass Valley, Imagine Communications

 

Test & Measurement

Imagine Communications, IneoQuest, Leader, Phabrix, Rohde & Schwarz, Tektronix

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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2014 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) Reports Now Available

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast Vendor Brand Research, market research, Top Broadcast Vendor Brands | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 15 2014

After months of data collection, analysis, and visualization, we have now completed work on the 2014 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS). Reports from this study have now been published and are available from Devoncroft Partners.

If you’re not familiar with the BBS, it’s the most comprehensive annual study of technology end-users in the global broadcast industry. Nearly 10,000 broadcast professionals in 100+ countries participated in the 2014 BBS, making it once again the largest market study of the broadcast industry.

BBS reports have been designed to help readers improve their strategic decision-making, customer engagement, marketing strategy, product planning, and sales execution.  BBS reports are also used frequently for M&A-related activities by both buyers and sellers.

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Three types of 2014 BBS reports are available:

  • 2014 BBS Global Brand Reports:  provides deep insight into how each more than 100 broadcast technology suppliers (see full list below) are perceived by market participants, along with comprehensive benchmarking of broadcast technology vendors on a wide variety of metrics.

 

  • 2014 BBS Product Reports:  provide detailed information from buyers, specifiers, and users of broadcast technology products in 31 separate categories (see full list below)

 

  • 2014 BBS Global Market Report: provides detailed information about industry trends, major projects being planned, products being evaluated for purchase, current and future plant infrastructure, broadcast technology CapEx budgets, and planned deployment of new technologies including 4K, Connected TV, and Social TV.

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If you would like information about these reports and how they can help your business, please get in touch.

 

In addition to these paid-for reports, we will also be publishing highlights from the 2014 BBS on the Devoncroft website.  These articles will be posted on a semi-regular basis, so please check back often.

To receive posts when they are published, just enter your email in the box in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

 

The tables below show the product categories and broadcast technology vendor brands covered in the 2014 BBS.

 

 Product Categories Covered in the 2014 BBS:

2014 BBS -- Product Categories Covered in the 2014 Big Broadcast Survey

 

 

Broadcast Technology Brands Covered in the 2014 BBS:

 

2014 BBS -- All Brands included in 2014 BBS

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.© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Software Defined Networking – Coming Soon to a Broadcaster Near You?

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 09 2013

In a recent article, titled As Software Takes Over, Network Gear Could Be in Jeopardy, Barron’s columnist Tiernan Ray describes how “software defined networking” (SDN) may enable software-based systems to cannibalize the market for traditional hardware-based network switches sold by companies like Cisco, Juniper, and Alcatel-Lucent.

Although the article focuses on how SDN might impact major IT networking vendors, Ray could have just as easily been writing about broadcast technology.

Take for example, the first two paragraphs:

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“A decade ago, I asked a venture capitalist in computer networking if dedicated network gear would ever be replaced by software running on a standard computer. My hypothesis was that as general-purpose computers became more powerful, they could absorb functions that previously required specialized computer hardware, the way many functions can be performed on PCs today that once required mainframes. The venture capitalist assured me it would never happen, for a variety of reasons, even if it became technologically possible.

“Fast forward 10 years, and the computer networking world is abuzz with talk of “software-defined networking”— software that can perform the same functions as dedicated hardware, but instead runs on an Intel-based server.”

 

Ten years ago much of the broadcast industry was dominated by bespoke hardware, and it would have been hard for many to imagine that these products could be replaced by software running on generic IT hardware.

But this is exactly what happened as the broadcast industry transitioned to file-based workflows. Video servers replaced tape machines, graphics & branding became increasingly software-based, software-based transcoding became ubiquitous, and traditional master control functionality slowly began to be replaced by integrated playout (channel-in-a-box) systems.

Although the broadcast market has undoubtedly seen tremendous change during this time, it’s likely that we are still in the early innings of the true “ITification” of the industry.  So what’s next?

To get an idea of what the future might hold for broadcast, one only has to look at the of the (significantly larger) IT industry, where investor Marc Andreessen famously wrote that “software is eating the world.”

The IT industry has gone through massive changes – with SDN being one of the latest – driven by new technology; the availability of on-demand cloud-based computing power; low power, high performance semiconductors; falling memory prices;  end-user mobility; and customer demand for greater efficiency, automated operations, and better analytics.

Sound familiar?

The same “external forces” that have changed the IT industry are also impacting the broadcast and media technology business.   If/when these changes take hold in the broadcast industry, there will be significant ramifications for both end-users (broadcasters and media companies) and technology vendors.

The TV business has changed dramatically over the past ten years, particularly on the distribution side. While it’s easy to focus on consumer-oriented statistic such as the amount of video being consumed on phones and tablets, and the consumer’s desire to have an anytime, anywhere media experience; these trends often don’t directly impact most broadcast technology vendors.  They do however impact the customers of technology vendors (broadcasters and media companies), who are making plans today that will let them take advantage of new technologies, and as a result radically change the landscape of the industry.

It remains to be seen how radical these changes will be.  However, another look at the IT industry again provides a glimpse of what might be in store.

Writing in Barron’s, Ray describes some of the implications for traditional IT switching hardware:

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“A more prosaic battle is playing out, as Cisco and others are already cannibalizing the network switches they have long sold, providing what are called “virtual” switches that are just software programs that run on a server.

“A network switch or router is a specialized computer with specially developed chips that perform calculations to determine how to direct bits of data between computers. As complex as they are, some of those calculations can now be efficiently performed in software running on Intel processors.

“The virtual switch movement is already having an impact on network equipment, shaking up the rankings of who’s top dog in individual categories of switching.”

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According to Gartner analyst Joe Skorupa, who follows the IT industry, this means “an entire class of switching equipment may go away.”

Could this also happen in broadcast?  Time will tell, but a number of vendors are already working on solutions to make this a reality.

Ray goes on to highlight another major force that has impacted the IT networking industry, Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS), which delivers virtually unlimited computing powers that can be “elastically provisioned” on an as-needed basis.

According to Gartner’s Skorupa, AWS has major implications for makers of hardware-based networking gear.

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“Amazon Web Services can become a buyer of tremendous power, and one thing it may do is buy a lot more networking software than hardware, they opine.

“The immediate result, says Skorupa, is that switch software should cost less than hardware boxes, which means lower revenue for networking vendors.”

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Could the same thing happen in the broadcast technology space?

If so what are the implications for both end-users and technology vendors?

Major broadcaster and media companies realize they can gain tremendous efficiency advantages by leveraging advances in the IT industry. Therefore many of these organizations are taking a hard look at how to integrate some of these new IT technologies into their operations.

Some have gone as far as saying their ultimate goal is a “virtualized broadcast infrastructure with in-line processing.”  In other words, they foresee a future where the broadcast infrastructure is housed in an IT data center, and the operations done today primarily by hardware boxes are carried out by software that plugs in to the IT core.  And by the way, broadcasters probably won’t be building this facility.  Instead, they’ll rent computing power on an as-needed basis from AWS or some other cloud-based service provider.

Sound far-fetched? That’s what the venture capitalist told Barron’s Tiernan Ray ten years ago about the software replacing network switches IT industry.

Today there is evidence that the broadcast industry is already moving in this direction. For example, all 29 Hearst stations are using Signiant’s a cloud-based advertising spot delivery, Vizrt and NVidia are collaborating to virtualize broadcast graphics using Nvidia’s grid technology, and at NAB 2013 Fox announced that it intends to move master control to the cloud in collaboration with Snell.

So perhaps it’s inevitable that, like the rest of the world, the broadcast industry will also be “eaten by software.” When this happens, it will be important that software applications are both fit for purpose, and interoperable.  Fortunately, work is being done today that will hopefully ensure interoperability between next generation broadcast systems and applications.

The Video Services Forum (VSF), along with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and SMPTE, have brought together a group of leading broadcasters, media companies, and technology vendors and created a Joint Task Force on Networked Media.

The VSF Task Force — which is being led by Richard Friedel, EVP & GM, Fox NE&O and VSF President, VSF executive director Brad Gilmer, Hans Hoffman of the EBU, and Peter Symes of SMPTE — is not a standards setting body. Its vision is to enable new business opportunities through the exchange of professional media across networks, taking advantage of the benefits of IT-based technology at an affordable price.  The Task Force, working in an open participatory environment, will map out a strategy for developing a packet-based network infrastructure for the professional media industry by bringing together manufacturers, broadcasters and industry organizations (standards bodies and trade associations) with the objective to create, store, transfer and stream professional media.  Anyone who wants to join this important initiative should contact Bob Ruhl at the VSF.

The VSF Task Force is moving quickly in order to ensure that a common framework, focused on interoperability, is established before hundreds new products, which might otherwise be incompatible, are introduced in the coming months and years by both established vendors and newcomers.

These firms believe they have significant opportunities to leverage advanced IT technologies, including SDN, into their broadcast-oriented product lines. As a result, it’s likely we’ll see an entirely new category of products and services being introduced over the next few years.

A notable example of this is a Silicon Valley start-up called SDVI, led by Omneon co-founder Larry Kaplan, who said earlier this year that the focus of his new company is to bring SDN technology to the broadcast industry.

Details of SDVI (which is a member of the VSF Task Force) are opaque at this point, but Kaplan (who occasionally blogs about SDVI here), told TV Technology magazine that his new company will “take advantage of advances in IT technology and cloud-based services within the broadcast infrastructure to improve workflow and operational efficiencies,” and launch its first products at IBC 2013.

Although Kaplan new firm and others are already moving quickly to bring SDN technology to the broadcast industry, there is still confusion about the technology and what it means for both vendors and end-users.

Indeed there is even confusion in the IT networking world according to Juniper Networks, whose website says “SDN is the talk of the networking world. But as popular as it’s been lately, it’s still shrouded in misconception.”

In an attempt to demystify the topic, Juniper has created an SDN white paper, which can be downloaded here.

Documents such as this are worth reading since SDN may very well be coming soon to a broadcaster near you.

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Related Content:

Barron’s Article: As Software Takes Over, Network Gear Could Be in Jeopardy

VSF, EBU, and SMPTE Create Joint Task Force to Define Future of Networked Media for Professional Applications

The Video Services Forum

SDVI company blog

TV Technology: Larry Kaplan, Omneon Co-founder Launches Media Software Company

TV News Check: Hearst Goes To The Cloud For Ad Delivery

TV News Check: Fox TV Network Putting Master Control In The Cloud

Marc Andreessen: Why Software Is Eating The World (via WSJ)

Wikipedia: Software Defined Networking

Juniper Networks Whitepaper: Decoding Software Defined Networking – SDN Information and Strategy

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Impressions of IBC 2012: M&A, Cloud, Multi-Platform, 4K, Efficient Operations, CiaB, and the “Return of Grass Valley”

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, content delivery, market research, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Sep 20 2012

A previous version of this article appeared in the “Tech Thursday” Spotlight Section of TVNewsCheck

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Against the backdrop of the ongoing European debt crisis and the afterglow of the 2012 Olympics, nearly 51,000 visitors made their way to Amsterdam for the annual IBC trade show. Major themes of the five-day broadcast technology jamboree included vendor consolidation, buzz about new technologies for multi-screen content delivery and social TV, futuristic technology demonstrations, and several important new product introductions.

The broadcast vendor community got a little less fragmented on the first morning of IBC, with a merger announcement by two Norway-based video transport technology providers — Nevion and T-VIPS

Although no additional deals were unveiled at the show, vendor consolidation was one of the most discussed themes at IBC, and according to statements made by some of the leading vendors, there is potentially a lot more consolidation on the way.   

Newly acquired Miranda technologies made its debut as a “Belden brand” at IBC, and Belden EVP Denis Suggs was on hand at the show to meet customers and explain his company’s vision for the broadcast industry, and why they decided to buy Miranda in one of the largest broadcast technology M&A deals in recent years. 

In a nutshell, Belden saw the opportunity to acquire a cash-generating company with a top-class management team that’s growing faster than the overall market and jumped at it. Including Miranda, Belden now generates approximately $450 million a year in broadcast-related revenue, making it one of the industry’s largest players, and it appears they are not done doing deals in this space. 

Suggs said Belden views Miranda as a platform from which is can further expand its broadcast industry operations, and that it intends to support Miranda’s existing plan for further acquisitions.

Grass Valley CEO Alain Andreoli echoed a similar sentiment at his company’s press conference. He said that Francisco Partners, the private equity firm that owns Grass Valley, has a $3 billion fund behind it and will support Grass Valley’s efforts to become an industry consolidators.

When the dust settles, he said, Grass Valley may not be the largest player, but it will certainly be in the top three. Last year, Grass Valley bought PubliTronic, a provider of channel-in-a-box (CiaB) technology, to gain a larger foothold in the playout market. Expect to see Grass Valley and other players making additional strategic moves that help them enter attractive new market spaces.

But most IBC M&A talk centered on Harris Broadcast, which is currently being divested by its parent company. Although rumors were flying at the show about who might buy the division, its executives were tight-lipped. Harris Broadcast President Harris Morris would only say that the deal is progressing according to plan, and is on track to be completed as soon as the end of 2012.

New products and services based on cloud technology, multi-platform content delivery and social TV services dominated many demonstration and hallway conversations at IBC, particularly in the “Connected World” pavilion, where dozens of new and established firms displayed a host of products aimed at securing a place in this emerging ecosystem.

Despite the enthusiasm of vendors, many buyers publicly and privately expressed caution about the technology.

Critics of cloud technology cited immature technology, bandwidth limitations, security, and an unproven business case as barriers to its adoption. Likewise, broadcasters and content owners expressed concern over the “disconnect” between the desire of end-users to receive and consume video content on an ever-increasing number personal devices, and the ability of broadcasters to create sustainable and profitable multi-platform business models.

Cloud-based discussions at IBC ranged from real-world case studies of how EVS helped broadcasters set up private clouds to facilitate remote production of the Euro 2012 soccer championships and London Olympics, to practical solutions from Signiant and Aspera for managing the delivery of file-based content over IP-enabled and cloud-based infrastructure, to new solutions for cloud-based video production.

Cloud-based production is an emerging trend, but initiatives such as the ‘Adobe Anywhere’ initiative will prove to be a catalyst in this area. Taking cloud-based production to the “next level” are new firms like VC-backed start-up A-Frame, which is building from the ground-up a complete cloud-based video production environment that marries the experience of broadcast and post-production experts with forward-thinking IT-based software experts. 

On the multi-screen front, Ericsson introduced its first encoder based on HEVC/H.265 compression technology. The company says that its HEVC implementation offers the potential for users to reduce bandwidth by up to 50%, thereby enabling more efficient delivery of content over multiple platforms, including mobile networks.

Harmonic unveiled a new version of its ProMedia transcoder, aimed at enabling its customers to deliver an integrated multi-screen experience to their subscribers. Harmonic also introduced new members of its senior management team: CMO Peter Alexander, and CTO Krish Padmanabhan, who recently joined the company from Cisco and NetApp, respectively.

Noticeable by their absence on the Harmonic booth at IBC were the familiar Omneon and Rhozet brand names, which have now been absorbed into Harmonic. “Harmonic is a branded house, not a house of brands, and our singular focus is delivering excellent video quality to consumers everywhere,” said Alexander.

The Sony/SES Astra demonstration of live delivery of 4K images over satellite drew a lot of attention.

For many years, 4K images have been trade show “eye candy” for visitors, but at IBC 2012 Sony and SES showed that technology exists today to transmit high quality 4K images over satellite at a manageable 50mbit/s using h.264 compression technology.  The stunning live video images were delivered via an SES satellite to an 84-inch Sony Bravia 4K display.

The demo prompted speculation that 4K will be the “next HD” in terms of consumer adoption and broadcast infrastructure upgrades. Other observers took a more practical approach, saying that the industry might see 4K being used as a high-end production format in near to mid term, but that it will be a long time before broadcasters who have already spent millions on the transition to HDTV decide to upgrade again to 4K.

Indeed, when it comes to broadcast infrastructure upgrades it is operational efficiency, not higher resolution, which appears to be the primary demand of broadcasters. Thus, many vendors at IBC were promoting solutions designed to help broadcasters transition their operations to file-based and IT-oriented workflows. 

One of the ongoing initiatives in this area has been the development by a large number of vendors of integrated IT-based playout technologies, more commonly known as channel-in-a-box (CiaB).  These systems offer the promise of increased operational efficiency and significant cost savings through the integration of previously disparate playout and master control functionality into a single IT-based platform. Over the past several years, major vendors including Grass Valley, Miranda, Snell, Harmonic, and Evertz have offered products.

At IBC 2012, Harris became the latest entrant into the market with the launch of Versio, a CiaB system based on several of the company’s existing technology platforms including the Nexio server family, ADC automation, and Inscriber graphics. 

When describing the new Versio product at the company IBC press conference, Harris Morris said the No. 1 requirement for automated IT-based playout systems is reliability, and that this is an area where Harris Broadcast excels. Morris also emphasized that CiaB platforms rely heavily on automation technology, where Harris Broadcast is an established leader, making the company a natural choice for broadcasters considering integrated IT-based playout.

Although Harris Broadcast touted the fact that their Versio platform is based on the company’s existing technology platforms, it stopped well short of saying that the new system is a direct replacement for its current products, particularly its popular Nexio server family.

Instead the company described Versio as a robust cost-effective way for broadcasters to quickly add new services and digital subchannels channels, and to provide backup in emergencies.

“Channel-in-a-box should be about opening up new possibilities rather than limiting how a broadcaster can operate across multiple on-air scenarios,” said Andrew Warman, senior product manager at Harris Broadcast. “It’s limiting to look at channel-in-a-box as a system replacement for servers, automation, and other play-to-air systems. Broadcasters need freedom to build appropriate workflows for their operations, including external components.”

However, other vendors clearly see the CiaB market differently, and have taken a very different approach than Harris Broadcast, especially those firms that do not have an existing playout server business to protect. 

Snell Chief Architect Neil Maycock said that his company’s ICE platform is not only “ready for prime-time,” it is on the air today delivering high value content for major broadcasters.  Maycock also said that ICE has a unique architecture that enables it to scale from a single channel implementation, through a multi-location centralcasting model, to a large multi-channel playout environment.

PlayBox CEO Vassil Lefterov said he has built his entire business on disrupting the traditional server-based playout market. “We believe our singular focus on this application is a key advantage,” he said.  “Playbox has thousands of live channels on the air today and is working to re-define playout operations for many of our customers.”

Grass Valley, which like Harris has a significant video server business, took a more pragmatic approach.  SVP and CMO Graham Sharp said that “it’s likely CiaB and other IT-based playout systems may ultimately impact everyone’s server business, so we’ve taken the decision to cannibalize our own products where necessary by embracing IT technology, because if we don’t do it to ourselves someone else will.” 

Grass Valley was among the vendors with significant new products. Introductions included a new LDX camera platform that scales from a basic model to a high-end super-slow motion system; a new video server family, and brand new electronics for the Kayenne and Karrera production switchers.  Grass Valley said all its new products feature native 1080p processing, and provide straightforward upgrades via software.

Grass Valley also made bold claims about its future product plans, stating that by 2014 it will have replaced its entire portfolio with all new 1080p, IT-focused products. 

GV’s Sharp also hinted at a major NAB 2013 announcement from Grass Valley: “Next year we will introduce a completely new integrated IP-based platform that is totally format agnostic.” he said.  “We believe this new platform will enable a new way of working that we call non-linear production….”

All Grass Valley products, including those launched at IBC 2012, will be compatible with the new architecture, he said.

Sharp concluded GV press conference by saying: “If there is one take-away from this presentation about Grass Valley, it’s this: We’re back.”

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© Devoncroft Partners. All Rights Reserved.

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The 2012 Big Broadcast Survey

broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 03 2012

I am pleased to announce that the 2012 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), our annual study of the broadcast market, has been completed and that the reports from this project will be published soon.

We once again had record-breaking participation in this project.   Almost 10,000 broadcast professionals in 100+ countries participated in the 2012 BBS, making it the largest ever and most comprehensive market study of the broadcast industry.  We are humbled by and grateful for the unprecedented participation from so broadcast industry professionals who took the time to contribute to this year’s study.

The 2012 BBS offers unique insight into the broadcast industry by providing information about industry trends, budgets, capital projects, HD and file-based upgrade cycles, and more. It also provides detailed brand data on more than 100 broadcast technology vendors in 30+ product categories (see list in post tags below).

We created the BBS to help our clients, and readers of this website, better understand the issues and trends impacting the broadcast and digital media industries.  We received many positive comments about the BBS from both participants and our research clients, so we feel that we are on the right track and we will continue to publish data about the market on a regular basis.

We will begin to post summary data from the 2012 study on this website, so please check back regularly.

I will also be presenting a summary of the 2012 data on Sunday April 15th at the NAB Show, at a half-day conference session called Media Technology: Strategy and Valuation, which is being produced by Devoncroft, Silverwood Partners and the NAB Show.  It’s free for all registered NAB Show attendees, so please come along.

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Related Content:

Devoncroft – 2012 Broadcast Market Research Reports Now Available

Devoncroft – 2011 Broadcast Market Research Articles

NAB Media Technology: Strategy and Valuation Conference presented by Devoncroft, Silverwood and the NAB

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© Devoncroft Partners. All Rights Reserved.

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