Video: The End of Broadcast?

This discussion asks what the limits are of ‘broadcast’ in a world increasingly dominated by streaming. Whilst services like the BBC’s iPlayer have demonstrated how on-demand can sit alongside live streams of linear channels, the growing world of Disney+, Netflix and Apple TV+ is muscling in on the family television bringing with them different ways of accessing video.

Presented by Ian Nock, chair of the IET Media technical network, this is the 2020 John Logie Baird lecture online. First up, is Chris Wood from OTT specialist Spicy Mango who represents the perspective that OTT is the way forward. This isn’t a fight between screen sizes, he starts by saying, but rather about experiences and expectations. A great example of this is how pause and rewind features have made their way into many linear TV offerings. The convenience to pause a video while you leave the room or discuss it was so powerful that when it was possible to bring it into live, it did. This type of feature migration will continue to happen as the types of service merge.

Chris makes the important point that ‘live TV’ often means linear. There is a lot of live streaming available through Twitch, sports providers like DAZN and companies like Amazon Prime which is not captured separately. This makes it hard to understand how much people are still valuing the live feeling. Live TV, he says, is not going away whatever happens to linear RF transmissions because we need live programming, we enjoy it differently.

Source: DTG

Next, representing the UK Digital TV Group (DTG) is Yvonne Thomas who looks at the fragmented landscape with a large variety of types of VoD service available – subscription, advertiser etc. For the younger audience whose experience of video is predominantly over IP, their experiences become quite fragmented meaning it’s hard for a broadcaster to maintain continuity and relevance. Yvonne also talks about the proliferation of IT needed to watch all this content which can lead to families inadvertently exposing their data or compromising their security.

Nigel Walley from Decipher makes the point that some of our intuitions are wrong. As we see trends evolving, whilst the industry was initially discussing the rise of ‘second screens’, it’s important to realise that some of this was driven by the simple fact that the only place you could watch Netflix of YouTube was your second screen. As consumer electronics manufacturers have made space for ‘Netflix’ buttons and we see Google and Apple with their HDMI connected players, we see people have quickly reverted to watching good content on their best screen; their TV.

Another important point made by Nigel is that as much people companies talk about the ability to individually target viewers and deliver highly customised services, there will always be situations with shared viewing whether they may as well not be logged in as customisation takes much more of a back seat.

Source: OMDIA

Maria Rua Aguete from Omdia challenges our assumptions on who the big players in streaming are. They can be ranked both by revenue and by subscribers. Maria shows us that China Telecom, Baidu and Tencent are in positions 2, 3 and 4 when counted by subscribers. Still, one third of the world’s OTT subscribers are held by Amazon, Netflix and Disney+.
Maria continues to deliver a vast range of timely statistics that help us understand the current situation within the pandemic. She covers the popularity of free services with in the UK, recent M&A activity, the consumers’ rising appetite for video and international channels.

The session closes with a 20 minute Q&A.

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Speakers

Maria Rua Aguete
Technology Fellow & Executive Director,
Omdia
Yvonne Thomas Yvonne Thomas
Strategic Technologist
Digital TV Group
Chris Wood Chris Wood
CTO,
Spicy Mango
Nigel Walley Nigel Walley
Managing Director,
Decipher
Ian Nock Moderator: Ian Nock
Chair, IET Media Technical Network

Video: UHD – commercial success or work in progress?

Where is UHD? Whilst the move to HD for US primetime slots happened very quickly, HD had actually taken many years to gain a hold on the market. Now, though SD services are still numerous, top tier channels all target HD and in terms of production, SD doesn’t really exist. Is UHD successfully building the momentum needed to dominate the market in the way that HD does or are there blockers? Is there the will but not the bandwidth? Can we show that UHD makes financial sense for a business? This video from the DVB Project and UltraHD Forum answers these questions.

Ian Nock takes the mic first and explains the UltraHD Forum’s role in the industry ahead of introducing Dolby’s Jason Power. Ian explains that the UltraHD Forum isn open organisation focused on all aspects of Ultra High Definition including HDR, Wide Colour Gamut (WCG), Next Generation Audio (NGA) and High Frame Rate (HFR). Jason Power is the chair of the DVB Commercial Module AVC. See starts by underlining the UHD-1 Phase 1 and Phase 2 specifications. Phase 1 defines the higher resolution and colour gamut, but phase 2 delivers higher frame rate, better audio and HDR. DVB works to produce standards that define how these can be used and the majority of UHD services available are DVB compliant.

On the topic of available services, Ben Schwarz takes the stand next to introduce the UltraHD Forum’s ‘Service Tracker‘ which tracks the UHD services available to the public around the world. Ben underlines there’s been a tripling of services available between 2018 to 2020. It allows you to order by country, look at resolution (from 2K to 8L) and more. Ben gives a demo and explains the future plans.

Paul Bray focusses on the global television set business. He starts looking at how the US and Europe have caught up with China in terms of shipments but the trend of buying a TV set – on average – an inch larger than the year before, shows little sign of abating. A positive for the industry, in light of Covid-19, is that the market is not predicted to shrink. Rather, the growth that was expected will be stunted. The US replaces TVs more often than other countries, so the share of TVs there which are UHD is higher than anywhere else. Europe still has a large proportion of people who are happy with 32″ TVs due to the size and HD is perfectly ok for them. Paul shows a great graph which shows the UHD Penetration of each market against the number of UHD services available. We see that Europe is notably in the lead and that China barely has any UHD services at all. Though it should be noted that Omdia are counting linear services only.

Graph showing UHD Penetration per geographical market Vs. Number of Linear UHD services in that Market

Graph showing UHD Penetration per geographical market Vs. Number of Linear UHD services.
Graph and Information ©Omdia

The next part of the video is a 40-minute Q&A which includes Virginie Drugeon who explains her work in defining the dynamic metadata that is sent to the receiver so that it can correctly adapt the picture, particularly for HDR, to the display itself. The Q&A covers the impacts of Covid-19, recording formats for delivery to broadcasters, bitrates on satellite, the UltraHD Forum’s foundational guidelines, new codecs within DVB, high frame rate content and many other topics.

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Download the presentations
Speakers

Jason Power Jason Power
Chair of the DVB Commercial Module AVC Working Group
Commercial Partnerships and Standards, Dolby Laboratories
Ben Schwarz Ben Schwarz
Chair of Ultra HD Forum Communication Working Group
Paul Gray Paul Gray
Research Director,
Omdia
Virginie Drugeon Virginie Drugeon
Senior Engineer, Digital Standardisation,
Panasonic
Ian Nock Moderator:Ian Nock
Chair of the Interoperability Working Group of the Ultra HD Forum
Principal Consultant & Founder, Fairmile West

Video: The End of Broadcast? Broadcast to IP Impacts

It’s very clear that internet streaming is growing, often resulting in a loss of viewership by traditional over-the-air broadcast. This panel explores the progress of IP-delivered TV, the changes in viewing habits this is already prompting and looks at the future impacts on broadcast television as a result.

Speaking at the IABM Theatre at IBC 2019, Ian Nock, chair of IET Media, sets the scene. He highlights stats such as 61% of Dutch viewing being non-linear, DirecTV publicly declaring they ‘have bought their last transponder’ and discusses the full platform OTT services available in the market place now.

To add detail to this, Ian is joined by DVB, the UK’s DTG and Germany’s Television Platform dealing with transformation to IP within Germany. Yvonne Thomas, from the Digital Television Group, takes to the podium first who starts by talking about the youngest part of the population who have a clear tendency to watch streamed services over broadcast compared to other generations. Yvonne talks about research showing UK consumers being willing to have 3 subscriptions to media services which is not in line with the number and fragmented nature of the options. She then finishes with the DTG manifesto for a consolidated and thus simplified way of accessing multiple services.

Peter Siebert from DVB looks at the average viewing time averaged over Europe which shows that the amount of time spent watching linear broadcast is actually staying stable – as is the amount of time spent watching DVDs. He also exposes the fact that the TV itself is still very much the most used device for watching media, even if it’s not RF-delivered. As such, the TV still provides the best quality of video and shared experience. Looking at history to understand the future, Peter shows a graph of cinema popularity before and after the introduction of television. Cinema was, indeed, impacted but importantly it did not die. We are left to conclude that his point is that linear broadcast will similarly not disappear, but simply have a different place in the future.

Finally, head of the panel session, Andre Prahl explains the role of the Deutsche TV-Plattform who are focussing on ‘media over IP’ with respect to delivery of video to end user both in terms of internet bandwidth but also Wi-Fi frequencies within the home.

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This panel was produced by IET Media, a technical network within the IET which runs events, talks and webinars for networking and education within the broadcast industry. More information

Speakers

Andre Prahl André Prahl
Deutsche TV-Plattform
Peter Siebert Peter Siebert
Head of Technology,
DVB Project
Yvonne Thomas Yvonne Thomas
Strategic Technologist
Digital TV Group
Ian Nock Moderator: Ian Nock
Chair,
IET Media Technical Network

Video: The critical importance of user experience

Using the TV used to be very simple, but in recent years the different interfaces we have to viewing content and types of interface have proliferated. So how can we keep these interfaces simple and effective?

This panel from the IBC’s Content Everywhere Hub, hosted by Ian Nock, Chair of IET Media introduces the panel which looks at how to make video ‘just work’ and share their experiences.

Gerald Zankl, from Bitmovin makes the point that in this transitioning market, there is still space for linear news channels even in the midst of our video-on-demand-based market.
“It becomes a one-to-one conversation” agrees Renato Bonomini from ContentWise as he explains that there’s a lot of value in having a service you can turn on and rely on it to give you content you want through personalisation. “Search is the failure of recommendations”, Renato concludes.

Social media is another good example of why recommendation engines are important, explains Gerald. With so much information coming in, it’s not practical and would be boring to simply go through them arbitrarily. Similarly, video services with hundreds of thousands of assets also require a system to manage which content to surface.

Simone Leadlay from You.i TV points out “Customers willingness to pay for 250 services is zero.” meaning people find value in one or two services and are very willing to move to another app if their experience isn’t good enough.

The panel discusses the relevance of weekly episode releases in 2019 and then moves to bringing multiple companies together to form one service.

Bitmovin’s Gerald discusses giving feedback to the user if, for example, you can detect there are issues with the platform/local wifi etc. Giving them actionable feedback allows them to improve their experience, either directly or by pressuring their providers.

Simon, explains that the role of all of the companies on the panel is to fight against the challenges, fragmentation of the market (CDNs, codecs) for instance, so that no one notices they’ve done their job.

This panel concludes with a discussion on (actionable) analytics.

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Speakers

Gerald Zankl Gerald Zankl
Global Head of Inside Sales,
Bitmovin
Renato Bonomini Renato Bonomini
VP Global PreSales,
ContentWise
Simon Leadlay Simon Leadlay
VP, Product Market Development
You.i TV
Ian Nock Ian Nock
Chair, IET Media
Chair, Ultra HD Forum