The complicated issue of broadcasting ultra-high definition and high-definition is the foremost reason why users and service providers are adopting broadcast switchers.

As India transitions from analog content to digital broadcasting, the ensuing rise in TV viewership and growing number of broadcast studios, has spurred the broadcast switchers market. This is also particularly the trend in Japan, Africa, Ukraine, and Russia as they are working toward changing their content and conforming to ITU guidelines. China and South Korea are also not far behind.

Broadcast switchers allow a broadcaster make a choice of a signal from multiple alternatives and then telecast it. It also helps the broadcaster merge the signals and add special effects to them. Broadband switchers are becoming increasingly sophisticated to meet the demands of the industry. The industry indicates the latest trends of ultra-high-definition (UHD), multi-platform content delivery, cloud computing and video transport over IP networks. Customized products are the need of the day.

Technology developments in addition to infusing competition have also been supportive in ensuring relevance of broadcasting in the 21st century. With service providers increasingly bringing the power of digital media to broadcast TV, the broadcasting industry continues to thrive, spurring opportunities for broadcast switches. Especially gaining prominence as the single most important factor is the growing pressure on broadcasters for value creation through continuous innovation and the ensuing increase in investments in production equipment that yield cost and efficiency benefits.

Increase in appetite for live breaking news and stories drives deployment of television production trucks, generating demand for portable broadcast switchers. Expanding applications into non-broadcast sectors, rise of user-generated content, and the ensuing increase in mobile broadcasting need highly compact switchers while production switchers with high-end digital video effects are increasingly finding popularity.

Broadcasting technology requires higher capital investment, which is one of the major restraints for the growth of the broadcasting market. High-definition television and digital broadcasting are expensive as compared to traditional televisions and cable network for broadcasting, which essentially acts as a market restraint for the switchers. High capital investment and problems associated with content distribution are some of the restraints faced by broadcast switcher companies.

Market Dynamics

The global broadcast switchers market is estimated to grow from USD 1413.3 million in 2015 to USD 2421.9 million by 2023, at a CAGR of 7.0 percent between 2016 and 2023. The historical analysis of the market indicates that the studio production segment was the largest application segment in the overall market. As of 2015, the global broadcast production switcher's market segment constituted 41.2 percent of the market, at USD 582.8 million in 2015, poised to reach USD 890.1 million by 2022. This is primarily owing to huge amounts being invested by cable operators and broadcasters in this segment to enable high-definition digital content.

With growing advances, 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.

Currently, North America holds a dominant market share of 39.5 percent in the global market and with an influx of HD channels, it is expected to continue its dominance in the overall market. However, analysts predict that Asia-Pacific, growing at a CAGR of
8.1 percent will surpass the revenue share of North America in the foreseeable future as the region is on the verge of a serious transition from analog to digital broadcasting. Remarkable growth in studio production and sports broadcasting is also anticipated to play a crucial role in the rise of this geographical segment.

The competition amongst the broadcast switcher manufacturers is intense and it helps the market to stay technologically advanced. The major players in this segment include Barco, Blackmagic Design, Broadcast Pix, Datavideo Technologies, Evertz Microsystems, FOR-A Company, Grass Valley and Imagine, IHSE USA, Ikegami Electronics (USA), Inc., Kramer Electronics, Matrix Switch Corporation, NEC, NewTek, Inc. (USA), Panasonic, Ross Video, Semtech Canada, Snell Group, Sony Electronics, TV One, and Utah Scientific.

Several companies in the market are looking at developing IP-based 4K resolution broadcast switchers to tap the unmet demand for high-quality content in the market. In addition to this, these players will also strive to cater to the varied and unique demands of developing countries to win bigger shares in the overall market dynamics.

Gautam Jaggi,General Manager-Technical, AGIV India Pvt. Ltd.
Industry Speak
The New-Generation Video Switchers

On marketing strategies

AGIV (India) Pvt. Limited, a part of FOR-A group of companies, Japan, represents a range of production switchers from FOR-A Japan. ME 1,2 and 3,range of switchers HVS110, HVS-390, HVS2000 respectively have been installed all over India, which caters to the need of customers looking for powerful switcher in an economical range. The switchers are 4K-ready and support different video formats suitable for HD and SD production. HVS 2000 is a 3ME switcher with 48 Inputs and 24 Outputs and 20 layers of effect key. It has the power of working like a 7ME switcher.

On USP of broadcast switchers

With the increasing number of Input sources in live news, sports, and event production, video switchers should accommodate many sources and distribute many outputs or AUX. The demand for on-line DVE effects has been increasing. The switcher should be capable of HD and SD production. At the same time, it should be cost effective.

On the current market scenario

There has been an increasing competition in range of 2ME and 3ME switchers. Manufacturers are giving multiple layers and adding functionality to switchers in a compact hardware enclosure, thus shifting more to Menu and software-based operations.

On major customers

Supply and installation of seven sets of FOR-A HVS2000 and 18 sets of HVS390 at various centers of Doordarshan Prasar Bharti. Mantaya News Ahemdabad, Nation Voice Noida, Hindustan News Noida, selected HVS2000 for their live news production.

On sales trends in 2016-17

There has been a gradual increase of FOR-A switcher sales this year in India. We have also established installation in Bangladesh TV channels. There was some effect of demonetization but it seems to be vanishing now.

On price trends in 2016-17

Customer has become very cost sensitive. The budget restraints of the customer sometimes give a tough time in deciding prices.

On technology trends

In terms of switchers, we are ready with 4K, IP video delivery. 4k has already been executed.

On key demand drivers

The sports and news production is enhancing with times. The creative and technical teams are experimenting new production techniques, making the requirement of switchers with sophistication.

On challenges and opportunities

With the increasing video sources to the switcher and fast production demands, switcher operators have become more sensitive. The challenge of giving them a user-friendly operation has made manufactures design quick-response panels with increased memory and layers.

Gautam Jaggi,
General Manager-Technical,
AGIV India Pvt. Ltd.

Nigel Spratling,Director-Production Switchers, Video Servers, and Cameras, Ross Video
Industry Speak
Creating Newer Products

Ross switchers are fundamentally easy to learn and operate. They are powerful, intuitive systems that deliver best-in-class features and performance yet provide a cost-effective package. Like all Ross products they are part of the Ross ecosystem with full connectivity and control via dashboard to graphics, servers, cameras and much more.

On marketing strategies

Make the best and most affordable solutions for the widest range of customer applications by having a diverse portfolio of small, medium, and large production switchers with desirable unique features.

On the current market scenario

It is not just broadcast, it is everything from small flight packs and studios in SD, all the way up to Network News and UHD mega stadiums with massive production effects and needs. Our market is very diverse and includes houses of worship, education, live events, mobile production, sports, news, and more.

On technology trends

New signal formats, UHD, IP, and 12G-SDI – the market wants it all at different segments and needs. We are trying to address those needs directly with appropriate product lines. We listen carefully to our customers and do our best to design products that will meet current and future needs.

On challenges and opportunities

Today, there are more choices for signal formats and frame rates than ever before and we are working hard to meet the challenges these bring. The live production market is expanding in many areas that are more price sensitive and technically less competent. By creating new products that are faster, better, and cheaper, we are working to turn this challenge into new opportunities.

Nigel Spratling,
Director-Production Switchers, Video Servers, and Cameras,
Ross Video

Greg Huttie,Vice President of Production Switchers, Grass Valley
Industry Speak
Creative Power in Switchers

At the heart of all broadcast operations – small or large – is the production switcher. From live sports and production studios to corporate studios, churches, or universities, switchers play an important role. The family of production switcher panels and frames from Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, is designed to reduce the complexity of today's production workloads while providing flexibility to meet any demands in the future – including 4K productions and IP connectivity.

With the ability to use any switcher panel with any switcher frame for the ultimate in production flexibility and scalability, Grass Valley helps to protect its customers' switcher investments in hardware and in training. Customers who have learned to use any K-Frame switcher have learned to use them all. In addition, broadcasters can even run multiple panels and/or shows off the same frame at the same time.

Choosing a switcher panel also requires a careful analysis of the space and performance needs for the particular application. Building upon the industry-leading production switcher quality and performance for which Grass Valley is known, the new GV Korona offers the same robust feature set as the Kayenne and Karrera Video Production Center switchers, but does so with a smaller, space-efficient control surface. Available in 1 and 2 M/E (stripe) panels, GV Korona can be packaged with the compact K-Frame S-series frames, though it is compatible with all Grass Valley K-Frames for unlimited flexibility in video production.

Broadcasters around the world see Grass Valley switchers as the gold standard, and GV Korona builds on that reputation by bringing a much-needed compact option to professionals who work in mobile units or small studios. Now they have access to the legendary performance and creative power in a switcher that comes at a lower price point and a smaller footprint.

Greg Huttie,
Vice President of Production Switchers,
Grass Valley