Hear ye, hear ye! Finding the right tools to create greater efficiencies key to thriving in 2023
By Shaun Lim
While 2023 will continue to bring some of the challenges that broadcasters have had to contend with, there is also an air of optimism that the evolving broadcast and media industry will offer opportunities for growth.
To get an insight into what might be in store for the broadcast and media industry, APB+ spoke with some of the leading broadcast solution providers who are looking to be key strategic partners for broadcasters in 2023.
Bryce Button, Director of Product Marketing, AJA Video Systems:
“Technologies and workflow advancements that expedite the production of 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) and high dynamic range (HDR) content will be in high demand throughout 2023, as broadcasters continue to work with leaner teams, shorter timelines, and tighter budgets amidst the ongoing content boom.
“Tools that support remote production and cloud-connected workflows will be further in demand to help globally dispersed teams more seamlessly collaborate and share data across each stage of production.”
AJA expects the top influential trends for 2023 to include colour processing and monitoring tools that support colour-managed HDR workflows for both UHD and HD, a greater reliance on remote production, expansion of cloud services to support remote teams and connected workflows, migration of baseband SDI into the IP space, and use of real-time technologies and virtual production workflows for greater cost savings while enhancing the audience viewing experience.
“As data demands further increase, driven by a surge in demand for 4K/UHD/2K/HD and HDR content and an uptick in the number of deliverables required for projects, software tools that help teams find, manage, and analyse data will also keep growing in demand in 2023 and beyond,” said Button.
Raul Alba, Director of Solutions Marketing, Creative Products, Storage, Cloud, Avid:
“Broadcasters will certainly have their challenges in 2023. With advertising revenues on the decline for years and a potential recession, the battle to compete with Netflix and other streamers for quality content won’t get easier.
“Add in an advertising video-on-demand (AVoD)-led business model to contend with, it really is now on broadcasters to rethink how their content can create more value.
“But there are reasons for optimism … we’ll see broadcasters producing more of what they’re good at — reality TV shows, live sports, and news.
“And, if necessity is the mother of invention, we’ll see a more agile approach to finding solutions to specific problems as the market shifts from hardware to a cloud environment. So, expect more application programme interfaces (APIs), more use of Software as a Service (SaaS) and subscription to allow them to scale up and down to manage content, and more flexible tools and platforms to manage costs.
“Ultimately, this will lead to greater efficiency and being able to create more with less.”
A recession hot on the heels of the disruption from the global pandemic is sure to bring all these issues to the fore and focus attention on costs.
“But broadcasters, especially public ones, will have budgets to improve and invest in their services — there’s just likely to be more focus than ever before that they are being used wisely,” said Alba.
Simon Roehrs, Director of Sales, APAC, Ross Video:
“In 2023, I believe that ongoing trends such as digital transformation and convergence of major players in our industry will continue. In addition, our clients are looking more than ever into the ROI of their investments that offers more efficient workflows. Ultimately, investments need to be carefully considered and ideally utilised to their fullest extent.
“Therefore, I firmly believe we at Ross are trailblazing and leading the industry with our hyper-converged platform (including the new 12G-ready Ultrix FR12 router), which allows clients to build flexible workflows, grow their capabilities as their business scales and more importantly, master the challenges in a rapidly changing industry.”
Steve Reynolds, President of Imagine Communications:
“The cloud holds the key to the future, but not as an all-or-nothing proposition. Media companies will leverage it when and where it makes sense for the business. Premium, more ‘hands-on’ channels will be supported via on-prem applications, for example, content that requires live production or live integration.
“Cloud-based technology, with its inherent flexibility, will be used for disaster recovery and spin-up of more transient or emerging services like pop-up or free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels. In the middle is a mix of on-premises and cloud technology, allowing publishers and networks to use a cost-effective combination for their channels and streams.
“Keeping pace with evolving consumer demand for content ― whether linear broadcast or Connected TV (CTV) channels ― will require a unified origination environment that combines on-premises and cloud solutions to deliver all these services seamlessly and efficiently. Operational complexity is minimised via common user interfaces and workflows across all channel tiers and delivery platforms.
“Perhaps, more importantly, this unified hybrid rationalises and revolutionises the way content is monetised. Treating your converged advertising inventory as a single pool of opportunity maximises income and drives new opportunities.
“This is not to say that all advertising avails are equivalent … it’s rather that optimising revenue means adopting the right set tools to execute across inventory types underneath a unified platform for monetisation.”
Rob Waters, Global Sales Director, Dejero:
“With continued demand for live content, at a time when budgets remain tight and the environment is more in focus, remote productions will grow further and faster than ever in 2023. Last year was certainly proof of that as our customers found creative ways to use Dejero products.
“Technological advances in 5G will allow higher quality content to be produced without the need for full on-site production but in rural and remote locations, many of the existing issues will require different approaches.
“Complete solutions offering temporary private networks, which are easily deployed and supplied with a managed backhaul from location to control room will become more widely used to enable better value productions. For instance, our innovative private network workflow was a huge success for customers who required reliable connectivity for the late Queen’s funeral in the UK.
“Alongside the growth of remote content gathering and production, we will see further adoption of cloud production tools in 2023.
“Technology in cloud production products allowing collaborative workflows will continue to evolve into stronger value propositions with skilled workers able to be based from an office or home. Connectivity solutions to support this will increase in importance as demand for network bandwidth grows and the need to avoid congestion.”
Stephen Tallamy, CTO of EditShare:
“Remote working became a necessity during the pandemic, and will continue to transform post production in 2023. Smart workflows, hybrid storage and editing in the cloud will allow post to take place anywhere, while retaining familiar tool sets including the editor’s preferred software.
“For instance, if you are covering a major sporting event, or perhaps a location-based reality show, you no longer need the cost and disruption of post teams on site; they can access all the content from any location. If you are a post house, you can give your top creative talent a better work/life balance by enabling them to work from home without changing any of their operations or functionality.
“You can prepare an edit offline, using tools in the workflow management application to select and mark takes, and build bins. So, time in expensive edit suites, and the time of expensive editors, is best used because nothing is wasted in transfers and set-up.
“All of this is now possible and will continue into 2023, thanks to modern storage and asset management platforms that provide intelligent links between storage locations, including the cloud, and the ability to host all the popular edit software platforms, accessed remotely.
“This is commercially and creatively a revolution.”