Posts Tagged ‘TV Everywhere’

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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Tracking the Evolution of Broadcast Industry Trends 2009 – 2012

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, content delivery, market research, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 09 2012

This is the second 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.

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In a recent post about broadcast industry trends, we published the 2012 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, which shows the most important trends in the broadcast industry for 2012. 

This article looks at how trends have changed over time, and more specifically what trends became more important or less important in 2012 versus 2011.

Our view is that industry trends drive capital projects, which in turn drives technology budgets, which in turn drives product purchase.  In other words, what technology buyers say is commercially important to their business in the future (i.e. trends) will likely turn into what they are budgeting for tomorrow (i.e. projects).

Therefore it’s useful to review how the relative importance of broadcast industry trends has changed over time, because it provides a preview of where technology purchases will be made in the future. 

 

  • In 2009, the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index was dominated by the Transition to HDTV Operations, while multi-platform content delivery was fourth on the list

 

  • In 2010, multi-platform content delivery had become the most important industry trend, narrowly eclipsing file-based / tapeless workflows (which were combined in the 2010 index) and the transition to HDTV operations

 

  • In 2011 multi-platform content delivery became the dominant trend, where it remains in 2012

 


The chart below shows a comparison of the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index from 2011 and 2012. 

 

 

This chart shows that multi-platform content delivery continues to increase in overall importance relative to other trends in the broadcast industry.  Other net gainers in 2012 versus 2011 include file-based / tapeless workflows, the move to automated workflows, video-on-demand and improvements video compression efficiencies; all of which show year-over year increases in the Index ranking.

Both transition to HDTV operations and IP networking & content delivery declined in the 2012 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, but stayed in the top four (where they have been since the inception of the Index in 2009).  Other notable decliners in 2012 versus 2011 were “transition to 3Gbps operations”, and “3D,” which saw the largest year-over-year decline on a percentage basis.

It should also be noted that the relatively strong showing of “cloud computing / cloud-based services” which was added to the Index in 2012, undoubtedly had a cannibalizing impact on these results.


To provide additional context on how the importance of technology trends in the broadcast industry changes over time, we have included a comparison of the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index from 2010 – 2012.

 

 

When reading this chart, please bear in mind that in each of the previous two years, one additional trend was added to the Index.  In 2011, analog switch-off was added.  In 2012 cloud computing / cloud-based services was added. 

New trends are added when appropriate (and based on stakeholder feedback), in order to keep the Index current and relevant to the needs of users.  However as discussed in a previous section, this can make it more difficult to perform year-over-year data analysis.  Thus we are providing as much information as possible in this report in order to enable readers to undertake an informed analysis.

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Changes in Numerical Ranking in the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

As shown below, there were some interesting changes in the numerical ranking of the trends covered in the 2012 Index.  The first column in the table below shows how trends were ranked in 2012. The number in parentheses to the right of each trend shows how it ranked in the 2011 BBS Index. Although there were no changes at the top and bottom of the 2012 Index versus the 2011 Index, there was movement in between.

 

 

Several trends were ranked more highly in 2012 than in 2011.  For example the transition to file-based / tapeless workflows moved up one spot to the #2 ranking (eclipsing the transition to HDTV operations for the first time in the Index), and the move to automated workflows also moved up.  

The combination of the strength of multi-platform content delivery, the strong showing of cloud computing, and the increasing importance of file-based workflows and automated operations has significant implications.  Broadcast technology buyers are clearly focused on creating efficiencies wherever possible, while at the same time working to generate new revenue streams through multi-screen offerings.

A number of trends dropped in the Index versus previous years, the most notable being 3D which had the largest year-over-year percentage drop.

Other trends remained relatively static in terms of their ranking in 2011.  For example: “transition to 3Gbps operations,” “transition to 5.1 channel audio,” “outsourced operations,” and “green initiatives” remained the bottom four trends in 2011, as they were in 2012.  However the addition of cloud computing, which ranked #7 in the Index dropped each of these trends down one position.

 

Changes in Commercial Importance of Broadcast Industry Trends

As well as changes to numerical ranking, there were also year-over-year changes to the perception of commercial importance to each trend.  This is shown in the table below:

 

 

For the most part, the trends that moved up in the rankings in 2012 were also seen as more important commercially versus the previous year. 

The common theme among the items on the left side of the above chart is that they all have to do with creating new revenue streams, or cutting costs through greater efficiencies.  Analog switch-off is perhaps the odd one out here, but given that these projects are mandated by governments, they become increasingly important where relevant until the time that these projects have ended.

The items on the right of the above chart are a mixed bag.  As a generalization it’s safe to say that that many of these trends involve spending rather than saving money.  Given that much of the industry is still recovering from recession, extra spending is not a popular choice in the current business environment.

 

Why Tracking Movement of Trends is Important

It is important to note that there is a difference between recognizing that a trend is commercially important and having a business plan in place that capitalizes on that trend.  As stated previously, our view is that industry trends drive capital projects, which in turn drive technology budgets, which in turn drive product purchase.  In other words, what technology buyers say is commercially important to their business in the future (i.e. trends) will likely turn into what they are budgeting for tomorrow (i.e. projects).

For example, the 2012 BBS Trend Index shows that monetizing content on multiple platforms is clearly a key objective for broadcast professionals in the year ahead, yet many players, particularly on the content side, are still experimenting with their business models. At some point these trends will drive capital projects.  When that happens they will become major drivers of technology spending in the broadcast industry. 

We will review what major capital projects are being planned this year in the broadcast industry in a subsequent article.

 

Keep in mind when reading this information that all data in this article measures the responses of all non-vendor participants in the 2012 BBS, regardless of organization type, organization size, job title or geographic location. Responses of individual organization types or geographic locations may be very different. Granular analysis of these results is available as part of the full 2012 BBS Global Market Report. For more information about this report, please contact Devoncroft Partners.

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Related Content:

The 2012 Big Broadcast Survey – Information and available reports

The 2011 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

The 2010 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

The 2009 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

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 © Devoncroft Partners. All Rights Reserved.

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Tracking Changes in Broadcast Industry Trends — 2011 Versus 2010

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, market research, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Mar 21 2011

This is the second in a series of articles about some of the findings from the 2011 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of broadcast industry trends, technology purchasing plans, and benchmarking of broadcast technology vendor brands.  More than 8,000 people in 100+ countries took part in the 2011 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever done in the broadcast industry.

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In a recent post I discussed the 2011 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, which shows the most important trends in the broadcast industry for 2011.

The article referenced both the 2009 and 2010 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index from, and looked at how the rankings of trends have changed over time.  For example, in 2009 the transition to HDTV operations was, by far, the top ranked trend.  However by 2011, the transition to HDTV operations had been overtaken by multi-platform content delivery as the top trend (although the move to HD is clearly still very important).

This post generated a lot of lot of feedback from clients and readers.  Many people said they wanted to more easily see changes to the importance of trends over time, and asked for a single chart that shows year-over-year comparisons.  I’ve done this in the chart below, which shows a comparison of the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index from 2011 and 2010. 

Please note that I have not included the 2009 Index in this chart because multiple changes were made to the trends in the Index between 2009 and 2010, reducing the ability to make an “apples-to-apples” comparison.  It’s also worth noting that all 14 trends from the 2010 Index were included in the 2011 Index.  However, based industry feedback, we added a 15th trend to the 2011 list – i.e. analog switch-off, which was ranked 11th out 15 in 2011.  The addition of analog switch-off likely “cannibalized” a small percentage of responses from other trends in this year’s ranking. 

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So what changed between 2010 and 2011? 

There are two ways to look at this:

  • changes in overall numerical ranking relative to the previous year
  • changes in overall commercial importance relative to the previous year

 

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Changes in Numerical Ranking of Broadcast Industry Trends

Let’s start with the overall numerical ranking of trends.  The first column in the table below shows how trends were ranked in 2011. The number in parentheses to the right of each trend shows how it ranked in the 2010 BBS Index. Although there were no changes at the top and bottom of the 2011 Index versus the 2010 Index, almost everything in between changed position relative to the previous year.

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As I wrote previously, the top four trends in the 2011 Global Broadcast Industry Trend Index are the same as last year and the year before:

  • Multi-platform content delivery
  • Transition to HDTV operations
  • File-based / tapeless workflows
  • IP networking and content delivery

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However, there has been considerable movement in the relative ranking of these four trends over the past several years.  Most significantly, “multi-platform content delivery” has become increasingly important, and is the dominant trend in 2011.   

Several trends were ranked more highly in 2011 than in 2010.  For example video-on-demand moved up from #8 in 2011 from #6 in 2011; while 3DTV moved up from #10 in 2010 to #8 in 2011.

Other trends remained relatively static in terms of their ranking in 2011.  For example: “transition to 3Gbps operations”, “transition to 5.1 channel audio”, “outsourced operations” and “green initiatives” remained the bottom four trends in 2011, as they were in 2010.

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Changes in Commercial Importance of Broadcast Industry Trends

As well as changes to numerical ranking, there were also year-over-year changes to the perception of commercial importance to each trend.  This is shown in the table below:

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For the most part, the trends moved up in the rankings in 2011 also were seen as more important commercially versus the previous year. 

However, it is possible for a trend to move up in the numerical ranking, while moving down in terms commercial importance to respondents, as happened this year with the transition to HDTV operations.  In this case, these changes are likely more of a function of the strong showing for multi-platform content delivery, than a poor showing for the transition to HDTV.

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Why Tracking Movement of Trends is Important

In the broadcast industry much of the spending on technology is project-based, and those projects all come from somewhere.  Our view is that industry trends drive capital projects, which in turn drive budgets, which in turn drive product purchase.  In other words, what’s commercially important to technology buyers today (i.e. trends) will likely turn into what they are budgeting for tomorrow (i.e. projects).

Looking at the trend data from the 2011 BBS, monetizing content on multiple platforms is clearly a key objective for broadcast professionals this year.  Yet, as I wrote a few months ago after returning from CES: “On the monetization point, I lost count of the number of times I heard the word “experimentation” during [conference] sessions – particularly from content owners.  In other words, although everyone agrees that multi-platform content delivery is a very important trend, many players have still not figured out the business model.”

There’s a difference between recognizing that a trend is commercially important and having a business plan in place that capitalizes on it.  So while there’s no doubt that generating incremental revenue by delivering a multi-screen experience to consumers is hot topic, business models have to move beyond the experimental in order to drive serious market growth.  Once that happens, multi-platform content delivery will likely become the most important planned project rather than just the most important trend.

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Keep in mind when reading this information that all data in this article measures the responses of all non-vendor participants in the 2011 BBS, regardless of organization type, organization size, job title or geographic location.  Responses of individual organization types or geographic locations may be very different than those shown in this high level overview.  Granular analysis of these results is available as part of the full 2011 BBS Global Market Report. For more information about this report, please contact Devoncroft Partners.

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Related Content:

You can find out about the 2011 Big Broadcast Survey here.

The 2011 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is here.

The 2010 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is here.

The 2009 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is here.

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This article is based on the findings from the 2011 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of industry trends, technology purchasing behavior and the opinion of vendor brands.  With more than 8,000 people in 100+ countries participating, the 2011 BBS is the largest and most comprehensive market study ever done in the broadcast industry.

Devoncroft Partners has published a variety of reports from 2011 BBS data.  For more information, please get in touch.

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©Devoncroft Partners 2009-2011

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Broadcast Industry’s Most Comprehensive Market Study Reveals Top Trends of 2011

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, market research, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Mar 16 2011

This is the first in a series of articles about some of the findings from the 2011 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of broadcast industry trends, technology purchasing plans, and benchmarking of broadcast technology vendor brands.  More than 8,000 people in 100+ countries took part in the 2011 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever done in the broadcast industry.

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The 2011 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

Each year, Devoncroft Partners conducts a large scale global study of the broadcast industry called the Big Broadcast Survey (BBS).  More than 8,000 broadcast professionals in 100+ countries participated in the 2011 BBS, making it the most comprehensive study ever done in the broadcast industry.

One of the key outputs from the BBS is the annual BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index. This is a ranking of the broadcast industry trends that are considered by BBS respondents to be the most commercially important to their businesses in any given year.

To create the 2011 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, we presented BBS respondents with a list of 15 industry trends and asked them to tell us which one trend they consider to be “most important” to their business, which one trend they consider to be “second most important” to their business, and which other trends (plural) they consider to be “also very important.” 

We then used the responses to this question to create the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index by applying a weighting based on the commercial importance of each trend. 

Please note that our goal from this question is to help clients gain insight into the business drivers behind the respondent’s answer.  Therefore, we asked this question in the context of commercial importance, rather than “industry buzz” or technology hype.

The table below shows the 2011 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index.  Please note that this chart measures the responses all non-vendors who participated in the 2011 BBS, regardless of company type, company size, geographic location, job title etc. 

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Similar to results in both the 2009 and 2010, the top four trends in the 2011 Global Broadcast Industry Trend Index are:

  • Multi-platform content delivery
  • Transition to HDTV operations
  • File-based / tapeless workflows
  • IP networking and content delivery

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However, there has been considerable movement in the relative ranking of these four trends over the past several years.  Most significantly, “multi-platform content delivery” has become increasingly important, and is the dominant trend in 2011.   For comparison:

  • In 2009, the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index was dominated by the transition to HDTV operations, while multi-platform content delivery was fourth on the list

 

  • In 2010, multi-platform content delivery had become the most important industry trend, narrowly eclipsing file-based / tapeless workflows (which were combined in the 2010 BBS Trend Index) and the transition to HDTV operations

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These results show that broadcast professionals continue to focus their efforts on taking advantage of the potential for incremental revenue streams presented by multi-platform content delivery.  Indeed, as the chart above shows multi-platform content delivery was ranked significantly higher than any other trend in our 2011 study.  As video content become ubiquitous, broadcasters and content owners are looking for ways to monetize their assets, and grow their revenue.  Technology vendors are continuing to develop solutions to convert content for optimal performance on any platform, and to run targeted ads alongside that content.

But there is more to the story than just multi-platform content delivery. For the third year in a row, the transition to HDTV operations ranks as one of the top trends in the broadcast industry.  It’s likely that HDTV upgrades will continue to be one of the major drivers of project-based spending as broadcasters around the world continue with plans to transition their operations to HDTV.  We provide significant coverage of the global move to HDTV in the 2011 BBS Global Market Report.  This includes a breakdown of where broadcasters are in their transition to HD, and a look at the upgrade plans for more than a dozen product categories. We’ll also be publishing more information here about project-based spending and the HD transition in future articles.

Operational efficiencies (through file-based / tapeless workflows) remain a significant macro driver in 2011, as broadcasters continue to deploy new workflows.  The increasing importance of file-based technologies has implications for the broadcast industry in terms of both workflows and product procurement.  Our previous research shows that broadcasters are moving to file-based workflows not only to achieve greater speed and efficiencies, but also to reduce cost.  During the recession, technology budgets were typically prioritized towards solutions that add revenue and/or reduce cost.  Now that the industry is recovering from the downturn, it’s likely that the way technology is purchased will remain focused on these commercial priorities.

Several trends were ranked more highly in 2011 than in 2010.  For example video-on-demand moved up from #8 in 2011 to#6 in 2011; while 3DTV moved up from #10 in 2010 to #8 in 2011.

Other trends remained relatively static in terms of their ranking in 2011.  For example: “transition to 3Gbps operations”, “transition to 5.1 channel audio”, “outsourced operations” and “green initiatives” remained the bottom four trends in 2011, as they were in 2010.

It’s worth mentioning that in order to show year-over-year movement, all trends from the 2010 BBS were included in the 2011 BBS.  However, based on industry feedback, we added a 15th trend to the 2011 list – i.e. analog switch-off, which was ranked 11th out of 15 in 2011.  The addition of analog switch-off likely “cannibalized” a small percentage of responses from other trends in this year’s ranking. 

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Keep in mind when reading this information that all data in this article measures the responses of all non-vendor participants in the 2011 BBS, regardless of organization type, organization size, job title or geographic location.  Responses of individual organization types or geographic locations may be very different.  Granular analysis of these results is available as part of the full 2011 BBS Global Market Report. For more information about this report, please contact Devoncroft Partners.

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Related Content:

You can find information about the 2011 Big Broadcast Survey here.

The 2010 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is here.

The 2009 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is here.

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This article is based on the findings from the 2011 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of industry trends, technology purchasing behavior and the opinion of vendor brands.  With more than 8,000 people in 100+ countries participating, the 2011 BBS is the largest and most comprehensive market study ever done in the broadcast industry.

Devoncroft Partners has published a variety of reports from 2011 BBS data.  For more information, please get in touch.

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CES 2011 – Connected TV, Mobile DTV, 3D and Big Crowds

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jan 13 2011

Last week I was shocked back to post-holiday reality by my annual winter pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the 2011 CES exhibition.  I spent a couple of days in the conference session and walking the (very crowded) show floor.

As in 2010, some of the key themes at CES were making money (or not) from online content, connected TV, 3D TV, and mobile TV broadcasting.

The conference session I attended focused on connected TV, online TV and the monetization of content via these channels.  On the monetization point, I lost count of the number of times I heard the word “experimentation” during these sessions – particularly from content owners.  In other words, although everyone agrees that multi-platform content delivery is a very important trend, many players have still not figured out the business model.

Connected TV however is another story – it’s an area where the business model is a bit more straightforward.

A long time ago, I used to work in the interactive TV space, and this is what connected TV reminds me of… it’s an interactive EPG that just happens to point at web content and your media library in addition to the channels that you receive from your provider.  However there is one critical difference with today’s connected TV platforms versus the interactive TV technology of a decade ago – the ability to deliver target advertising to specific viewers. 

Although I look at connected TV as a fancy EPG that’s connected to a sophisticated ad serving platform, I think it’s where I think we’ll be seeing real innovation (and revenue) over the next few years.  To me the promise of connected TV is stronger than that of 3D, another hot topic at CES.

After all that 3D hype at the beginning of 2010, the hysteria over 3D seems to have cooled down a bit in 2011.  3D set sales are slow, there’s not much content out there, and on the professional side broadcast vendors have significantly toned down their statements about 3D, as evidenced by the IBC press conferences of companies such as Grass Valley and Harris.

Nevertheless, there was still a great deal of 3D at CES this year – particularly at Panasonic, which as you can see in the photo below dedicated a considerable portion of its CES booth to 3D technologies.

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I am still a 3D skeptic, particularly in terms of its real impact on the professional market. Yes, there is some equipment being sold, and yes there are a few dedicated 3D channels out there… but in terms of the overall market 3D today is still a drop in the bucket.  Only time will tell if 3D ever really becomes mainstream.  Nevertheless the 3D hype goes on, albeit in a somewhat toned-down form.

Another technology platform on which many have pinned their hopes is mobile TV broadcasting.  US OTA broadcasters are fighting a battle on many fronts – from the government, to Gary Shapiro at the CEA, to the need to generate new revenue streams, to the need to remain relevant in a multi-channel, always-on media environment — and they see mobile DTV broadcasting as a key way to help them succeed on all fronts. 

 

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At CES, there was a small group of booths that were showing off technologies for ATSC mobile DTV broadcasting.  US broadcasters are serious about mobile TV, and they were there in force along with some well established (Harris, LG) and new technology vendors.  Over the course of the show, I ran into broadcasters from most of the networks and major station groups.  There were also a large number of broadcast vendors in attendance with one (Evertz) even having a booth at the show.

From the conversations I had at CES, I expect mobile DTV broadcasting to be a major theme of the NAB show in April.  Given the political climate this could be the make or break year for mobile DTV broadcasting in the US.  It’s going to be interesting to watch.

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