SVG Europe 2015 Forecasts: James Stellpflug, VP product marketing, EVS
Continuing our start-of-year series offering predictions for 2015 from leading industry figures, EVS VP product marketing James Stellpflug explores the impact of ongoing improvements in replay technology and the need to deliver consistent image quality across devices and platforms.
We’re looking forward to a great year in which we’ll continue to enable sports broadcasters to enrich their programming. Last year’s activity will lead to a number of trends which will be prominent in 2015 and will help build an even more successful sports broadcast industry.
What will always drive trends in broadcast technology is the consumer’s expectations. The 2014 FIFA World Cup set a new precedent for live sporting events with the multimedia distribution platform that was built on EVS’ C-Cast technology and managed by HBS. This platform delivered content to mobile devices all around the world and now consumers want to see the same thing available for more live events. TV producers and rights’ holders have recognised this, which should boost ‘TV everywhere’ services in 2015, such as Rogers NHL GameCentre Live and Sky Sports for iPad.
This content access extends to those viewing sports inside stadiums. The 2015 sports fan will want to be able to review action from different angles and watch official or exclusive content on their mobile devices within the stadium on match-day. Sports leagues and clubs are quickly realising that such supplementary entertainment gives fans the opportunity to get closer to their teams and heroes, in addition to a richer match-day experience.
Having a better view of a game’s key moments also falls under the consumer’s expectations. Improvement in elements like replays can be achieved in the production process through increasing frame rates, resolution and dynamic range. What’s really important is that consistent image quality is available across all the devices audiences are watching content on, including curved Ultra HD TV sets. Large live sporting events will increasingly be watched on multiple screens, so the industry will need to create productions which conform across all of these.
While it’s clear that programming needs to be more dynamic and immersive for the viewer, content producers need to find ways to make the production process easier and more attractive. Remote production will grow in 2015 as it allows for the improvement of content quality while reducing production costs. This exchange of media between on- and off-site production bases can result in even more events being produced while maintaining the same high-level programming.
The development of multiformat workflows will ensure that content producers can work with the increasing number of different file formats. This will allow the wide range of screen sizes and multiplatform devices to be catered for. We’ll also see data synchronisation and analytical information put in place as this will provide more detailed match analysis and a truly immersive experience.