SVG Europe 2015 Forecasts: Nevion CEO Geir Bryn-Jensen on broadcasters’ desire ‘to do more with less’
The emergence of IP-based infrastructures and flexible media network management systems are among the topics covered in Nevion CEO Geir Bryn-Jensen’s overview of the year ahead – the latest in a series of SVG Europe 2015 forecasts delivered by prominent industry figures and thought-leaders.
More than ever, the trend in 2015 will see broadcasters wanting to do more with less, ie. more quality programming (especially live), from more locations but using fewer people and less equipment. So across the board we’ll see investment in equipment and technology that will ultimately make them more nimble as well as being more cost-effective.
There’s no doubt that 4K is getting a lot of interest. This is great for camera or TV manufacturers, but might not be such good news for broadcasters. It means they need to consider upgrading their value chain, potentially at considerable costs, with no real guarantee of commensurate increases in income. And this is one of the reasons why IP technology will make further in-roads into the broadcast environment.
Given the affordable bandwidth widely available and new technologies that have overcome IP’s inherent limitations, broadcasters are taking advantage of IP for contribution. This would lay the foundation for 4K. Economies of scale, built-in flexibility, lower network operating and capital costs, greater flexibility and the ability to push more content/increased bandwidth are some of IP’s many benefits. The characteristics of IP make it a natural fit for live media broadcast. Flexible, connectionless transport is ideally suited to today’s live environment where set-up and tear -own of services on demand is required to meet constantly changing needs. IP-based infrastructures also provide more efficient use of network resources, and decreased operating and capital costs.
IP’s onward march
The IP revolution is also beginning to extend into the facilities, again driven by the need to do more for less. This is an area where vested interest is strongest and suppliers of traditional baseband technology are already trying to re-position their equipment as IP friendly, often by building proprietary overlays designed to lock broadcasters into their solutions.
But the march of true IP solutions is unlikely to be stopped. 2015 will be the year where broadcasters will come to the realisation that the best bet is to follow standards for example deploying real SDNs (software defined networks) rather than some imitation. In that context, management systems will play a massive role in delivering the flexibility that IP promises.
In 2015, IP-based solutions controlled by media network management systems geared towards business needs will increasingly be used to enable cost-effective remote production. Again this will enable broadcasters to deliver “more for less”, by centralising more of the production process. Skilled staff and valuable equipment can remain in one location and be assigned to multiple productions quicker and easier.
With the deployment of IP and the outsourcing of some of the transport to other networks come the challenges of ensuring QoS and QoE (quality of experience) along the whole chain. That’s why we believe that media service assurance will play an even greater role in 2015. The ability to monitor signals, anticipate problems where possible and to take corrective action when issues arise without disrupting the signals will be something broadcasters will be looking to fulfil in 2015.