The broadcast equipment market is expected to exhibit lucrative growth potential between 2018 and 2023. The market growth can be attributed to the radical shift of products from hardware oriented to software and open architecture based; rising demand for ultra high definition (UHD) content production and transmission; and increasing D2C offerings through OTT services and multichannel networks.

The broadcast equipment market for content production, on the basis of product, has been segmented into broadcast cameras, monitors, amplifiers, switchers, encoders, video servers, and others. Encoders have accounted for the largest market size over the last year. These are used for the conversion of analog signals to MPEG-2 and are used in live shows as they require the conversion of analog signals in real time; for broadcasting other contents, pre-encoded MPEG streams can be used for the transmission of radio or TV channels from the broadcasters using playout systems.

The market for video servers is expected to grow at the highest rate between 2018 and 2023. The increasing number of broadcasters offering direct-to-consumer (D2C) propositions through OTT services, along with traditional distribution routes, is fueling the growth of the market for video servers. In broadcasting, servers act as hosts and are used to deliver various contents or videos. These servers are used to store and play out multiple video streams without degrading the video signals. Broadcast video servers often store hundreds of hours of compressed audio and video (in different codecs), play out multiple and synchronized simultaneous streams of videos, and also ensure quality interfaces such as SDI for digital video and XLR for balanced analog audio, and AES/EBU digital audio.

Leading brands for equipment are Acorde Technologies S.A, Anacom, Inc., Arris International, PLC., AVL Technologies, Inc., Broadcast RF Ltd., Cisco Systems, Inc., Clyde Broadcast, Comptech Telecommunication, Datum Systems Inc., Eletec Broadcast Telecom S.A.R.L, Ericsson AB, ETL Systems Ltd, Evertz Microsystems, Ltd., EVS Broadcast Equipment, General Dynamics Satcom Technologies, Globai Invacom Group Limited, Grass Valley, Harmonic Inc., Newtec Cy N.V., Quantel Limited, Sencore, Silicon Laboratories, Inc., Snell Advanced Media Ltd., Tectronics and Wellav Technologies Ltd.

Broadcast Cameras

Broadcast camera development in 2017 is more about transition – whether that means support for multiple formats, adding image enhancements like high dynamic range (HDR), new connectivity options, or even affordability. The major camera manufacturers are coming out with multiformat cameras that can switch between 4K or UHD or 2K or HD. Digital cinema, 360-degree VR, 8K, and high-end production cameras have been exhibited by major players on various shows since start of this year, showcasing latest research into camera technology and its use. Much work has been done to make HDR a reality, the industry, is very close to the point where somebody could start a regular HDR service.

With ATSC 3.0 on the horizon, broadcasters are engaging in serious discussions about how best to use their over-the-air bits and what precisely they should deliver to the home viewer, specifically 4K with HDR or 1080p60 with HDR. Adding HDR to any camera means that bandwidth, storage and workflows, essentially remain the same.

Indian market dynamics. The Indian market in
2016–2017 is estimated at 121.62 crore, with Doordarshan's procurement at 46.57 crore and of the private sector at 75.05 crore. Some of the major buyers in 2016–2017 were DD, Network 18 (65 studio cameras), Republic TV (12 studio cameras and 30 ENG cameras from Sony), Times TV, Raj TV, Bloomberg Quint, India Today, and ABP. The rental business is thriving as the smaller channels and production houses prefer this option. Backpack cameras which had gained immense popularity seem to be gradually losing the race to ENG models, which also offer streaming capability now.

Global scenario. The global digital broadcast and cinematography cameras market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 1.23 percent during the period
2016–2020. Flourishing use of handheld mobile devices and disposable crash models that capture superior resolution videos at 240 FPS (foot pound second) and are capable of operating 100 m under water are anticipated to facilitate media and broadcast industry sectors.

Focus on 4K. The entire industry seems to be tuning into 4K and UHD on the TV. However, it still is not quite the industry standard, mostly because a lot of devices cannot support the resolution completely for playback as well as many video cameras out there do not offer filming resolution at all. The jump from 1080p to 4K is not as obvious as SD to HD was. But there are still many benefits with usage of 4K video cameras. Shooting videos in 4K leaves room for growth in the future when 4K video quality does become a norm. Content producers have more room for image stabilization, especially in post-production. It provides better detail due to the quadruple of pixels as compared to 1080p. Providing versatility 4k cameras allow for more flexibility with larger area of filming, zooming, stabilizing post-production.

360-degree cameras. They are expected to grow at a CAGR of 34.4 percent during 2017–2024, according to Research Nester. Rising popularity of virtual reality content and increasing demand for virtual reality headsets are key drivers. Investment in VR and 360 hardware, software, and delivery technology has been booming for the past few years, and with so many people able to access content via their smart phones, the trend shows no signs of slowing. Vendors are developing 360 cameras with improved resolution, live-streaming to Facebook and YouTube, and compatibility with more devices. The next step is to merge the two and create streaming 360 cameras that can feed these platforms' voracious appetite for content. This category will be helped by the growing penetration of HEVC (H.265)-enabled imaging chips, which can compress video more efficiently than the prevailing AVC (H.264) codec.

IP connectivity is seen as a next step in broadcast camera's advancement – whether wirelessly from the camera or via a wired IP connection to the camera or CCU (camera control unit). IP is already supported from CCUs, but the ongoing work by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers on the SMPTE ST-2110 professional video IP standard means vendors will respond. The ability to change lens mounts and having a removable, quick-release viewfinder makes repurposing the camera easy. Such cameras can be used in a live environment with traditional ENG servo lenses and then easily reconfigured to do production work.

Switchers

The video production switcher has long been at the center of live production, taking all the signals in, processing them, and outputting the live show. While switchers need to maintain the highest production standards, they must also adapt to new forces reshaping the industry, such as 4K/UHD, HDR, and the IP transition. Just in terms of IP, switchers need to support new SMPTE standards, such as SMPTE 2022-6 and SMPTE-2110, as well as 12G SDI, 4K TICO compression, remote production, online streaming, and even cloud-based capabilities.

Market dynamics. The global broadcast switchers market is estimated to grow from USD 1620 million in 2017 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 2016, the global broadcast production switcher's market segment constituted 41.2 percent of the market. 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. 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, with increasing digitization, Asia-Pacific, growing at a CAGR of 8.1 percent is expected to surpass the revenue share of North America. 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.

Rising to new standards. Regardless of what the new format or trend is, no broadcaster wants to sacrifice the look and feel of their on-air product, and more importantly, viewers do not want to watch a lesser quality show just because it is now in 4K or IP. If they do not see multiple boxes on screen, cool graphics, replays, tickers, strike zone tracking, the first-down line, or whatever they have come to expect, they will be disappointed. Latest production switchers handle the greater processing demands of IP, UHD, HDR, and other dramatic new advances without short-changing high production standards, or negatively impacting the familiar live production workflow experience that technical directors and engineers have come to know.

Broadcast Monitors

The broadcast studio environment has transitioned from simple stationary static display imagery to a full, dynamic, content driven, treasure trove of visual capabilities that no other technology augments better than the latest LED display system technologies.

With a larger section of the broadcast audience viewing via nontraditional content delivery systems – desktop and increasingly mobile devices – these technologies allow a much more immersive experience with greater content details than ever before for both the viewer and the talent on camera. Broadcast monitors are no longer just display devices. They are now crucial components that are an integral part of the production chain. Broadcasters use production monitors in broadcast settings to monitor, produce, and supervise live 4K workflow 24/7. 4K monitors target any television application with crystal-clear 4K resolution and 24/7 industrial capabilities. Off-air broadcast applications ensure that the show must go on.

Broadcast monitors using 10-bit processing are ready to meet the need for 4K (UHD) signal monitoring. Advanced monitor-recorder now delivers 4Kp60 HDR to the set and the studio and allows up to 32 touch points enabling multiple people to simultaneously interact with the video wall without affecting other users. The latest generation of broadcast UHD monitors is based on a new custom developed video and audio processing platform utilizing state-of-the-art silicon in combination with the most precise LC display technology available.

Industry Speak

Targeting Smaller Operations with New Production Portfolio

The cost, capability, and complexity of content production equipment vary widely. While some operations may require the latest technology to deliver their content, others may be smaller in size with a more limited budget requiring only some of the latest features for their needs. It is important that manufacturers address both ends of the market.

It is for this reason that the company recently unveiled a suite of value-oriented solutions for broadcast professionals. These solutions require a lower initial investment, fit easily into more compact environments, deliver a wide variety of features, and are easily scalable and upgradable.

Solutions in the value production portfolio are appropriate for a variety of applications, but are particularly well-suited for environments such as small studios, outside broadcasters, rental and staging companies, universities, arenas, stadiums, and houses of worship. Products that fall into this line include the K-Frame V-series production switcher, GV Korona 1, 2, and 3M/E switcher panels, GV Matrix router, and Focus 75 Live camera.

The K-Frame V-series is modular for easy field reconfiguration and serviceability, as well as easy upgradability to an all IP or mixed SDI and IP environment in the future. At only 3RU, this new frame is an ideal complement to the GV Korona switcher panel, including the latest GV Korona 3-stripe (3M/E). The Focus 75 Live camera is designed and built with fully digital Xensium FT CMOS imagers, captures in full 1920x1080 HD resolution, and is user-switchable, allowing the user to quickly convert to either 1080i or 720p. GV Matrix offers the most space-efficient (4RU) platform for clean and quiet SD/HD/3G SDI routing with integrated processing, including Kaleido multiviewing for live production, playout, and general-purpose infrastructure.

Somu Patil,
Vice President of Sales, Asia,
Grass Valley

Modular LED video tiles, offered in a variety of shapes and sizes which can be used in ceilings, flooring, and even bent into curves, create a tangible virtual space that can present data and content like sports stats, and display live footage and likewise. The live events industry has gone from single screens to full, wrap-around, 180 degree displays; the world of content production will soon begin to incorporate this look.

Broadcast Video Servers

The increasing number of broadcasters offering D2C propositions through OTT services, along with traditional distribution routes, is fueling the growth of the market for video servers. In broadcasting, servers act as hosts and are used to deliver various contents or videos. These servers are used to store and play out multiple video streams without degrading the video signals. Broadcast video servers often store hundreds of hours of compressed audio and video (in different codecs), play out multiple and synchronized simultaneous streams of videos, and also ensure quality interfaces such as SDI for digital video and XLR for balanced analog audio, and AES/EBU digital audio.

IT-focused. Today, the video servers used in playout applications resemble the IT-focused server common to thousands of data centers. The price of video servers has dropped because the performance of the data center hard drive now meets the needs of high-bandwidth video applications. Server manufacturers are making millions of these drives instead of thousands, which would be the case if the devices had application only to broadcast. Broadcasters greatly benefit from the volume of devices being sold into the data market. The design of today's broadcast video server is highly leveraged with IT technology.

Playout solutions. The playout server is the broadcaster's version of a store cash register. No station or network is willing to chance playout errors because it directly affects the bottom line. The new COTS hard drives enabled broadcast video servers to be even more reliable and long lasting than cassette-based playout systems. Manufacturers soon added production technology to the playout servers. Now the servers could perform more tasks than just video playback. The server could create, manage, and playout an entire channel's worth of media. Channel-in-a-box (CIB) products are gaining traction in situations especially where only limited functionality was required.

Despite all new and exciting uses for video servers, the server manufacturer industry is currently facing challenges. As with all product areas in broadcast, video server vendors need to evolve to address the rapidly changing marketplace. Not all manufacturers will survive the next five years and the ones that do survive will be the companies that move with and ahead of the changing tide.

Video Encoders

Global Industry Analyst predicts that the global video encoders market is projected to reach USD1.5 billion by 2022, driven by the transition toward digital TV services and the escalating demand for high-quality video content on multiple screens. Proliferation of cloud computing coupled with the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets are revolutionizing multiscreen video distribution and consumption, which require video content to be transformed into multiple formats, each with varied bitrates and resolutions for delivery to devices such as TV, tablet smartphone, and PC.

In the coming years, the shift from SD to HD resolution and the launch of advanced encoding formats will drive growth in the market. Asia-Pacific is forecast to grow the fastest, driven by digitalizing lifestyles of the growing base of middle class population and the resulting growing affinity for digital forms of entertainment raising sales of smartphones and tablets, falling data tariffs rates, widespread deployment of affordable 4G services, and the resulting increase in consumption of mobile video in HD and ultra HD formats.

Video & control over IP using streaming servers are driving the broadcast cameras market, with sports and rental market seeing traction. While the production market is expanding, demand for ENG cameras seems to be on a decline.

Omkar Talwar
Assistant General Manager,
Panasonic Broadcast & Pro AV, Panasonic India Pvt. Limited

Amplifiers

Amplifier designers crafting high-fidelity audio systems are increasingly facing the challenge to overcome the demand for smaller size and greater efficiency. To address this challenge, engineers are utilizing new integrated class D amplifiers alongside the latest MOSFET (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor) technology in both discrete and modular formats. Class-D amps are based on the principle of digital technology and significantly reduce the power loss when operating a PA system.

Industry Speak

Mastering Multilayer Monitoring

Raj Yadav

Regional Sales Head, South Asia,

Imagine Communications

The best way to keep track of all signals in a modern broadcast or production center is with a monitor wall, which puts every feed and every stream in front of operators. A monitor wall will be made up of one or a number of high-resolution displays, each divided into a number of virtual screens – these tend to be called PIPs (picture in picture).

Ideally, the system designer should be able to lay out the monitor wall to meet the needs of the users. Some PIPs will be bigger than others. Ideally, the system should be flexible enough to switch instantly between different monitor wall configurations.

In a big monitor wall you need to help operators track technical issues. With integrated audio and video measurement software in the multiviewer problematicPIPs can be detected as having a red border. Audio metering can be burnt into the picture.

There are two critical transitions happening at the moment. The first is the move from baseband SDI connectivity to compressed and uncompressed IP, using SMPTE ST 2066 and ST 2110 standards. During the transition, virtually every broadcast infrastructure will have to support both. Multiviewers are now available which simultaneously support SDI and IP in a seamless manner.

The second is that there is increasing interest in UHD video and in HDR (high dynamic range) signals. HDR can be applied to HD or to UHD. Again, the multiviewer platform must track these and display the monitor outputs properly.

A modern multiviewer platform, such as the EPIC MV from Imagine Communications, needs to flexibly handle different standards and formats, and to feed multiple HD and 4k screens, in portrait orientation as well as landscape, connecting over 10 gigabit ethernet from affordable commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware.

Designers of high-performance medium and high power audio applications traditionally have opted to use class AB designs to meet efficiency and linearity goals. But advances in semiconductor process technologies and circuit techniques are making class D solutions more attractive for a wider variety of high power, low-noise audio applications. Class D audio amplifiers are being used in high fidelity sound equipment with the ability to handle hundreds of watts of power with higher efficiency and linearity while simultaneously attaining total harmonic distortion (THD) that is far below 0.05 percent.

By moving to class D amplification the efficiency of each design is increased. This means that smaller components can be used and often heat sinks are not required. More power can be packed in a smaller space, and the amplifier can be put in places it would not fit before. It also allows designs to be sealed; this affords protection from general dirt and dust and enables more reliable, maintenance-free, and fan-less designs.

Way Forward

The global market for broadcast equipment is estimated to be at a CAGR of 4.87 percent, poised to reach USD 5.82 billion by 2023, from USD 4.38 billion in 2017. Broadcasters are trying to reuse existing solutions from different markets and implementing them into the broadcast workflow. Industry wants higher levels of engagement and interactivity but also needs to present their content in new ways across platforms to make sure that they stand out in a crowded marketplace. By overlaying more graphic content that is entertaining and interactive, the audience gets more out of their experience without the client going bankrupt.

For the last decade the lower and mid-levels of the broadcast industry have been chasing technology and technique, filming with a HDR, capturing cinematic shallow depth of field shots, crafting elegant slow-motion action sequences, or getting that unique aerial perspective. All of that is now easily achievable. So what next? Manufacturers are now scrambling to invent the next best thing.As the form factor of equipment is reduced, the design possibilities increase exponentially. As technology surpasses its projected limits, the trick will be keeping the content accessible and grounded. If service providers want to continue increasing output in coming years they must leverage both the creative and noncreative sides of content production by reducing manual errors, increasing productivity, speed, and efficiency to help production companies meet exponentially increasing demands.

Industry Speak

Content Production in the Digital Era

Sanjeeb Mekap

Managing Director,

SRSG Broadcast India

Talking about content in M&E industry, content refers mainly to media content like audio, video, or images. Nowadays all content is digitized, that is after capturing raw media with a device; it is compressed and kept in digital storage in a specific format, which can be accessible in the future.

There are many devices for capturing raw content, one of the main devices being cameras. Others are I/O cards, video servers etc. The most important component in the M&E industry is content. It is content only, which enables broadcasters and production houses to earn money. So it is important for any broadcaster or content production companies to keep their content secured. Maintaining the quality of content is also important and this can be achieved by using best quality capturing devices. Multiple formats are being used now, with availability of 4k and HD formats.

Gone are the days when content was distributed only via satellite. Now media content like live shows, movies, TV programs, songs are easily available online, and viewers can access content from any compatible handheld devices.

Production houses can now monetize their content in a number of ways by increasing viewership. Today with cloud-based technology like VOD and OTT, content providers can easily know the interest of viewers and accordingly can focus on production of more related content.

Content had been in production since decades, but now the concept of content production and distribution has changed with emerging technology and demand of viewers for fast and easy access of content. The major platforms of social networks Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and likewise, are being used as a major platform for content distribution, the medium being the mobile network.