Predictions for 2019: Trends and challenges according to Signiant

As 2019 arrived we spoke to Signiant’s Rick Clarkson, chief strategy officer, about where he sees the trends and challenges for sports broadcasting over the next 12 months.

Signiant’s Rick Clarkson, chief strategy officer

What are interesting trends in sports broadcasting going into 2019?

For live sporting events, the evolution from on-site production teams to remote ‘at home’ production will continue in 2019. We see a lot of interest in cloud-based production infrastructure, which allows the production team to operate virtually from anywhere in the world. This provides a lot of flexibility and efficiency, but there are challenges that come with this transition.

What are the biggest challenges as it relates to remote production and the use of cloud technology in broadcasting live sporting events?

Connectivity is a major challenge. Sporting events today often have dozens of cameras shooting in high resolution formats. Broadcast quality mezzanine content must be streamed live from each camera in the venue to the cloud-based production environment; this is not trivial. Not only is a lot of bandwidth required, but the robustness of the network is very important in the delivery of high quality content. Dedicated networks engineered specifically for video are often used, but these networks can be very expensive and may not be available for all productions in all venues.

Signiant’s latest transport technology enables the use the public Internet for live contribution feeds. Our patented technology effectively eliminates the impact of latency and jitter to achieve maximum network utilisation, and those benefits apply to both files and streams.

Streaming over IP networks traditionally equated to lower quality, but this is no longer true. The use of standard networks along with Signiant technology can reduce costs and provide more flexibility to sports broadcasters as they transition to remote production and cloud infrastructure.

What is going to be the role of remote production going forward, in 2019 and in five year’s time? How will it evolve and how will that effect sports broadcast and sports broadcasters?

The trend to remote production will continue to pick up steam as will the use of cloud-based production infrastructure. There are so many benefits, allowing broadcasters to do more with less, ultimately benefitting the consumer.

As with most technology shifts, this will be an evolution over several years versus a hard switch over, but this evolution will continue in 2019 and the years to follow, which is good news for sports broadcasts and ultimately good news for consumers.

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