2017 will see the emergence of next-generation systems that will play a strong role in shaping the broadcast landscape.
The broadcasting equipment market in 2016 is estimated at 18,300 crore in the Asia-Pacific region. The traditional TV broadcast segment comprising of cameras, monitors, routers, switchers, cables, transmitters, receivers, and other accessories accounted for a 45 percent share . The traditional radio broadcast segment contributed 22 percent to sales. IP converged broadcasting and asset management systems constituted the balance 33 percent. Persistence Market Research forecasts a CAGR of 8.1 percent from 2016 to 2024.
The highest growth is anticipated from IP converged broadcasting, poised at a CAGR of 10.0 percent. Within the segments, the highest growth is expected from routers, projected to expand at a CAGR of 9.2 percent in the 2016–2024 period. Broadcast servers also have a high market share owing to the imperative role in the overall broadcasting process, from the earliest frame stores and audio workstations to the 3-D effects rendering farms.
Rental sports broadcast equipment market has been a major revenue generator for the broadcast equipment market. Increasing number of cricket leagues across the globe has been a game changer for the rental market of the broadcast equipment market. Moreover, increasing need for the preciseness in the decision review system is another factor that is propelling the need for the inclusion of hi-tech cameras in majority of the sports.
The key driver may be identified as convergence of high-definition technologies such as 4K with IP. Content creators across the region are shifting toward 4K cameras in order to capture high-definition video, with 4K services expected to be available on IP networks over the next four to five years via satellite launching and cable platforms. This is being supported by sales of 4K UHD television that has gained momentum due to rising disposable income in the region.
Increasing acceptance of production automation, rising number of digital channels, and analog to digital transition broadcasting, including growing acceptance of HD, are other factors driving the market. Increasing use of HD programming, Internet protocol television (IPTV), and mobile TV are contributing to growth. Moreover, growing attraction of people toward multi-screen services will also impact the market in the coming years. The market is propelled by high investment on digitization, broadcasting services, and upgrading of technology by the government. In addition, increasing use of smartphones and tablets provide ample growth opportunities in the video services segment. Advancements in the technology result in rapid changes, thus fostering the growth of the broadcasting equipment market. Furthermore, increasing awareness and interest of the end users in the broadcast technology will considerably bring huge positive changes in the market. Multiplatform video delivery equipment is becoming popular in the market. However, the huge capital investment required for broadcasting equipment, inconsistency, and standardized method of content distribution are the restraining factors for the broadcasting equipment market.
North America holds the largest market share in the global broadcasting equipment market. This trend is followed by Western Europe and Eastern Europe. However, Asia-Pacific is anticipated to witness sluggish growth.
Some of the major players dominating the global broadcasting equipment market are Microsoft Corp., ZTE Corp., ARRIS Enterprise Inc., Brightcove Inc., Ericsson A.B., SeaChange International Inc., Harmonic Inc., Alcatel-Lucent SA, Sony Corporation, Belden Inc., and Cisco Systems Inc. Other key vendors influencing the global market include Ateme, Imagine Communications, Verimatrix Inc., Envivio Inc., Minerva Networks, Thomson Video Networks, Azuki Systems Inc., Alticast Solutions, UTStarcom Inc., Anevia, Seawell Networks Inc., Edgeware AB, and Elemental Technologies.
Increased competition in the multichannel video market, disruptive technologies, and demographic shifts are transforming cable industry dynamics. The result is a shift in control from cable distributors and networks to consumers. In the traditional model, viewers were limited by TV programming schedules dictated by the distributors and networks. In the evolving model, consumers are empowered with the choice of new video outlets like mobile phones, as well as virtually unlimited content libraries made available via the on-demand platform.
The cable industry must fully understand the implications of this transition, from an environment in which service providers are in control to one in which consumers are empowered.
Traditional TV Broadcast Equipment
Cameras. Broadcasters and production professionals demand integrated camera solutions that enable them to deliver the higher-quality programming viewers have come to expect. That means capturing in 4K/UHD as needed, but with uncompromised performance in HD and 3G for most of what is produced today.
Image acquisition for live broadcast applications faces many challenges. The increase in spatial resolution for 4K/UHD, in combination with additional requirements of the UHD standards, such as an increase in temporal resolution, higher dynamic range, and the need to achieve all of this with good sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio, requires some compromises and design decisions.
Some of these new requirements, especially the increased resolution, have a negative impact on other important image parameters, such as the sensitivity, noise performance, and dynamic range. Multiple flexible solutions can address these challenges, including native format switching.
But image acquisition with a higher pixel count on any given imager size leads to smaller pixels. Smaller pixels deliver lower sensitivity with a linear relation between the pixel size and sensitivity. This means if the same technology is used for a 4K imager with 4 smaller pixels than a 2K imager, they will have 4 lower sensitivity.
No technology available today offers native 4K imaging delivering the same performance level in terms of sensitivity as do the best HD cameras on the market. In addition, native 4K acquisition with 2/3-inch imagers does not offer the global shutter operation that is required in many of the more demanding applications.
While smartphones have become the cameras of choice for many people, camera companies are still innovating, the advanced point-and-shoot being one such example. And they are introducing some really intriguing cameras. Camera makers also continue to tweak waterproof-and-rugged point-and-shoots. And mirrorless cameras – small, interchangeable lens cameras with the quality and versatility of SLRs – remain one of the few relatively bright spots in camera sales.
Broadcast Switchers. As the world transitions from analog content to digital broadcasting, it is in dire need of broadcast switchers. According to a Transparency Market Research report, the opportunity in the global broadcast switchers market will be worth USD 2.47 billion by 2024, rising from USD 1.45 billion in 2015. The market is expected to expand at a strong CAGR of 6.1 percent between 2016 and 2024.
The complicated issues of broadcasting ultra-high definition (UHD) and high-definition (HD) is the foremost reason why users and service providers are adopting broadcast switchers. The growth in this market is also being supplemented by the stiffening competition between production houses that has translated into a need for improved production automation technologies for broadcasting content on television. The broadcast switchers market is also being augmented by the rise in the number of sports events being streamed live that require excellent automation for transmitting seamless visuals. In the coming years, the insurmountable penetration of high-definition television sets will also propel the use of these switchers.
On the flip side, highly priced equipment such as cables, mixers, cameras, etc., can be restricting factors for the broadcast switcher market during the forecast period. In addition, this requires high investment which also takes many players aback, which is challenging for the broadcast switchers market. However, growing demand for HD in emerging countries, such as China and India, is expected to be lucrative for the growth of broadcast switchers market during 2015–2021.
The historical analysis of the market indicates that the studio production segment was the largest application segment in the overall market. As of 2016, this application segment held a share of 24.9 percent. The unique ability of studio production segment with adaption to HD and SD content has made it a popular choice amongst business owners. In the forecast period, the new production segment and sports broadcasting are also likely to make their presence felt in the global market as viewers demand live broadcasts of important events.
The major players include Axon Digital Design, Blackmagic Design, Broadcast Pix, Communitek Video Systems, EVS, FOR-A, Grass Valley, Guramex Designs, Harris Broadcast, Ikegami Electronics, Miranda Technologies, NewTek, Panasonic Corporation, Ross Video Ltd., Sony Electronics, and Snell Ltd.
Transmitters. The global broadcasting transmitter market is estimated at USD 708.75 million in 2016. With regards to this, key players of broadcasting transmitter industry are expected to find potential opportunities in this market.
In the world of broadcast transmitters, 2016 was the year of higher efficiencies, smaller packages, and the flexibility necessary to adapt to future digital transmission progress. Broadcast RF engineers and the television stations and networks they work for are rare breeds that demand the highest quality and reliability. Disaster stories spread quickly in this tiny niche. The market knows a broadcast transmitter failure is analogous to a broken cash register on a vastly larger scale. Both are business disasters worthy of investment to avoid.
2016 saw broadcast transmitter manufacturers generally focus on two themes. One was the upgrade path for DTV exciters from ATSC 1.0 to 3.0. The other and most often mentioned theme for all transmitters, radio and TV, analog and digital was efficiency.
RF End-Use Equipment. The global market for broadcast RF end-use equipment is still driven by DTV for the most part. Regionally, growth will be driven by the phased switchover to digital TV as it occurs in different countries. This market, valued at USD 1 billion annually, is expected to remain healthy and steady for the next decade. Historically, this market has been viewed as flat and not very exciting. In general, most of the RF industry as a whole has overlooked and dismissed it – that it turns out, was an error. DTV and FM broadcasting are still expanding at a measured but nevertheless positive rate.
IP Converged Broadcasting
As the adoption of IP across broadcast workflows continues and broadcasters realize its value, there are areas within the studio environment – outside broadcast and post production – where it has already made its mark. The main attraction of using IP is that it is ubiquitous, cost-effective, and is based on common standards.
IP is already used in a networking sense to transport signals around facilities. It is also used to a smaller degree in distribution, an area that will only increase in the future. But the area where it has really proved itself is in switching and extension – via keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) technology. IP-based high performance KVM removes the limitations of traditional AV equipment and brings real-time, accurate video operation to users. The technology allows operators to switch between machines that are sometimes located a great distance away from a single workstation using just one keyboard and mouse. IP-based KVM is an excellent proof point for the wider adoption of IP throughout the broadcast workflow. It is a cost-effective technology that delivers a good return on investment and delivers benefits to operators and broadcasters from the OB truck and studio environment all the way through to the post suite.
As 2016 opened, multiple vendors were proposing their proprietary approaches to moving uncompressed video-over-IP, and fragmentation seemed imminent. Fortunately, this time, there was a new environmental factor that helped galvanize the industry: the challenge posed by new entrants such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.
To compete, many vendors and broadcasters alike recognized the need to come together and collaborate in new ways.
In the span of four months, by 2016 NAB Show, all major companies proposing alternate approaches to the standards-based approach being worked out in SMPTE had joined the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), agreeing with AIMS' purpose statement: to foster the adoption of a common set of standards-based protocols and specifications for IP interoperability in the media and entertainment industry.
By IBC 2016, more than 30 companies demonstrated interoperability with the protocols that form the basis of SMPTE's work on a new standard for uncompressed video transmission over IP. When finalized, that standard –
SMPTE ST 2110 – will provide a common set of protocols for IP interoperability for the worldwide media and entertainment community, enabling the next wave of agility, flexibility, and efficiency improvements in our industry.
As such, 2016 was an important year. Looking ahead, 2017 will be an equally important, if not more important, year in the transition to IP. 2017 promises to be the year that SMPTE standard (ST 2110) is ratified and initial large-scale deployments of SMPTE ST 2110 technology are realized in broadcast installations. While no one can make a definitive prediction on when SMPTE ST 2110 will be ratified, industry activity and progress within SMPTE bode well for ratification in 2017.
2017 is expected to exit with a solid standard for uncompressed video-over-IP and multiple showcase installations demonstrating the power of this approach.
Media Asset Management
Media asset management (MAM) systems have been a part of broadcast operations for years, but were largely confined to simple catalog systems. The media and entertainment industry in India has now accepted the concept of MAM to streamline its operations and boost efficiency. The MAM market is estimated at 41.5 crore in 2016, growing at a 15 percent annual rate. The number of vendors offering solutions for MAM needs to media and broadcast companies will also considerably increase over the next couple of years.
MAM systems ideally help the user track material in their archives and locate content throughout a facility. In recent times, as the magnitude of media files has increased and there was a need for sophisticated archiving, broadcasters demanded applications that enabled management, authoring and editing, deep indexing, meta tagging, retrieving, annotation and display, and repurposing of media assets. All this has resulted in an increasing demand for MAM solutions. The task of MAM is changing from simply storage to getting content from in-point to outpoint in the fastest way, and to store it for eternity.
An MAM should not only be controlling most of the workflows for management and delivery, it should be tracking equipment and staff utilization, telling the resource planning department precisely how much each process costs. Only then can an enterprise make realistic judgment about what services to offer, how to monetize them, and how to achieve strong and reliable revenue streams.
While MAM is slated to become the next big technology in the media and entertainment circle, there remain certain implementation challenges.
It appears that most MAM solutions in the market so far have failed to adequately address the evolving demands of broadcasters, who not only have tons of un-digitized tape without metadata but who also now work across multiple platforms and need a solution that is flexible and can be easily integrated with their existing workflows. Some vendors, of course, argue that they have addressed broadcasters' needs but it requires agility and responsiveness as needs change.
For years, cable had one single competitor – broadcast television. The industry now finds itself at a turning point. Apart from the disruption resulting from cable TV digitization, the pool of subscribers is now serviced by DTH, emerging as a force to contend with. Consumer behavior is evolving as a result of new technologies that enable more choices through more end-user devices. The number of outlets over which video content is distributed is increasing. It can be accessed over HSD and wireless networks too. The tussle for revenue has just begun.
For the foreseeable future, every year will be a transition year of some sort. After all, digital technology is all about change and disruption.