Broadcasting tech trends - what’s hot and what’s next?
The broadcast technology industry is vast, covering everything from studio cameras to networking technologies, post-production effects to streaming video. This highlights the fact that broadcast media is arguably the most innovative technology landscape around and IBC reflects that year on year.
At IBC2019, for example, visitors saw advances in cloud workflows and grappled with next-generation storytelling, while the wider availability of machine learning and AI promised a new wave of automated production processes. Elsewhere, we talked about the arrival of 5G, object-based broadcasting and the rise of virtual studio technology.
But what’s next? Here’s our pick of the broadcasting tech trends that will ultimately shape 2020 and beyond.
Augmented Reality (AR)
There are two strands to augmented reality in the broadcast, media and entertainment industries. The first is the creation of virtual objects within a live studio environment. We’re already seeing this in TV production today - stats next to photorealistic representations of football players at the 2018 FIFA World Cup; journalists standing in digital representations of parliament as the votes come in during an election.
As for the second strand, many industry experts believe that high-speed 5G connectivity will bring AR into the mainstream, extending IP into new digital spaces and encouraging new forms of storytelling. The public is already becoming used to AR interfaces thanks to blockbuster mobile games like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite by Niantic and Minecraft: Earth.
Watch the Tech Talk at IBC2019: VR meets AR: Real and virtual spaces become one.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
AI is certainly hot news, but that’s hardly surprising - it has been part of the tech trend furniture at least as far back as IBC2017. However, the technology is maturing fast, moving from concepts and interesting potential use cases to concrete projects and actual value delivery in 2020. Take a look at how IBM Watson helps to streamline workflows from the 2018 show.
From workflow automation and speeding up sophisticated VFX rendering, to creating ‘new’ content from archive material, AI and ML are rapidly coming of age. The AL/ML effect session at IBC 2019, for example, examined the strategic and practical implications of AI/ML adoption in a compact and usable format.
The cloud and virtualisation
The move to the cloud is well underway in broadcast, just as it is in most of the media world. Traditional broadcasters who were struggling to elegantly migrate to IP back in 2017/18 are rapidly having to come to terms with off-premise and hybrid cloud solutions that are changing media workflows significantly.
As well as the benefits in scalability, capital expenditure and enhanced deliverability, the ability to use software-as-a-service (SaaS) in the cloud will continue to be a powerful driver - especially for value-add services such as AI-powered captioning, metadata generation or creating bespoke content packages for regional distribution.
IBC partnered with Intel to bring the 'Visual Cloud Conference' to IBC2019 and cloud will be a dominant theme in 2020.
Esports and Twitch
A central theme at IBC2019, esports has captured the imagination of the masses and it represents a powerful force shaping both media consumption and technology requirements.
Indeed, a new Futuresource report predicts that revenue in esports will hit $1.8 billion by 2023, and annual revenues will reach $1 billion next year. This is in part driven by rising audiences, set to increase to 800 million globally by 2023 - facilitated by popular streaming platforms such as YouTube and Twitch.
A full esports tournament was staged at IBC 2019, supported by ESL, Lagardère and EVS. It featured the popular game Counter-Strike, as well as a series of dedicated panels, keynotes and interviews.
In short, IBC 2020 is set to capture and contextualise the major technology trends facing the industry - and the media landscape as a whole - in common with the trendsetting successes of previous years.
Don't miss out on any news and updates as the world's most influential media, entertainment and technology show returns 11-15 September. Register your interest for IBC2020 today.