Q What are today’s challenges
Bruno Teissier: Demand for live and on-demand video feeds has increased significantly with the evolution of new video capture and broadcast technologies. These new technologies have opened the door to new players — especially streaming service providers — striving to meet elevated demand, challenging broadcasters to deliver new enhanced services while holding the line on operational costs.
As broadcast production teams across the industry act to meet the specific demands of the markets they serve, meeting these challenges will not be easy. Each geographic market comes with its own needs, objectives and limitations when managing everything from network latency and content quality to optimizing financial performance.
Leaders in the sector must consequently focus on moving forward with existing and new value propositions while reducing OPEX, maintaining sustainability — now an important priority for a growing number of broadcasters — and working within the parameters of constrained networks.
Meanwhile, a tremendous amount of content is being produced by nearly every broadcast category. Companies like ESPN, for example, are covering more local, national and international events than ever to meet the mass market and niche demands of their audiences. Similarly, Bally Sports in the USA proposes regional specific sports coverage, and TV2 Norway pushes personalization to the next level at school games with its MyGame platform, dedicated to grassroots and lower tier sports.
They realize that if broadcasters fail to address these demands, other players will, as video-centric platforms — like Instagram and TikTok — create opportunities for consumers to access more sources of video distribution and formats than ever before.
Leaders in the industry must respond by reviewing their current operations, addressing emerging demand and investing in new processes and technologies that allow them to cost-effectively compete in this environment.
Q How have technologies and workflows evolved within the broadcast station itself? How is that affecting the way broadcasters operate?
Teissier: Almost every aspect of broadcast operations has become more complicated. There is more equipment than ever to capture, process and distribute content. The audience has become more fragmented, creating demands for new formats — including long-form and short-form content — that can be displayed on TVs, mobile phones, computer screens and tablets, that are all very important when targeting a young audience..
Typically, the emergence of more complexity comes with elevated costs. The challenge is that few broadcasters can afford to absorb more expenses. This means they need technologies to manage complexity and meet the growing needs of their markets without a commensurate increase in employee headcount or operational expenditures.
As a result, adoption of new intelligent, automated, energy-efficient and sustainable technologies critical to the broadcasting industry. As broadcasters modernize and refresh their technology investments, they must not only focus on optimizing operating costs but also on improving technical performance by reducing latency across the delivery pipeline.
It is therefore important for executives in the sector to take a hard look at the next generation of video compression and codec standards; it will play a critical role as broadcasters meet strategic, operational and sustainability requirements in a highly competitive environment.
Q What operational changes must be considered within the broadcast station to optimize efficiency?
Teissier: There are so many changes that leaders must consider. Traditional broadcast environments have high overhead costs compared to new players — including streaming provides and social-media platforms — that have now established themselves in the video distribution and consumption market.
As a result, legacy business models must be revisited. Leaders must review all aspects of their broadcast operations — from travel to daily expenses and human resource costs to in-studio technologies.
Like many other industries, broadcasters must determine how to do things like move non-essential personnel to work remotely so that they can reduce overhead and operational costs while maintaining — if not improving — quality.
By integrating public internet and enterprise information technology (IT) infrastructures broadcasters can replace redundant networks, equipment and dedicated workflows creating an opportunity to radically reduce OPEX for broadcasters.
Q How is VITEC contributing to the technological innovations that enable broadcasters to reduce latency and improve quality while optimizing OPEX and sustainability outcomes?
Teissier: Solutions that deliver video over internet protocols while taking into account the requirements of the broadcast domain — including video format, codec standards, and streaming protocols — will play an important role in ensuring quality, operational performance and economic efficiency.
VITEC has developed tools and solutions that can be used by reporters in the field to send their contribution feeds efficiently to the mixing and editing facilities at studios. We are streamlining costs through automation and integration while creating the flexibility for broadcast operations managers to tailor specific services for specific audiences. It lays the foundation for harvesting long-tail opportunities in a profitable manner.
Our teams are also establishing innovative connections between artificial intelligence (AI) and interesting IP video applications that address the growing automation and integration requirements of the industry. There are exciting opportunities for AI to enhance a wide range of live broadcasts — including sports, entertainment and news. This will protect the strong position that broadcasters have against non-traditional video service providers. If content is king, live content is emperor.
In addition, we are embedding intelligence into our broadcast products that provide production teams with intuitive tools for creating compelling features without the need for additional human resources and avoiding redundant technical investments. For example, with unmanaged networks like the public internet, you can adapt the bit rate on the fly with VITEC products, allowing the best video quality the bandwidth available allows to be delivered.
VITEC’s mission for the past 35 years has been to harness next-generation technologies that are robust, intelligent, and interoperable with other critical elements of broadcast operations. As we move forward, VITEC is committed to enabling higher levels of agility, while introducing opportunities to enhance sustainability practices across the industry.