NM Mehra,Vice President-Technical & Engineering, VTIPL

TV production, postproduction, media, entertainment, and broadcasting technology are evolving continuously ever since their inception about seven decades back. At present also, it is going through a major and intensive churning process. With the available technologies, a jump to 8K/4K-resolution UHD (phase I and II) with high dynamic ratio, HDR coupled with wide gamut of color, space, and high frame rate pictures with next-generation audio is inevitable. Industry is promising to take television viewing to new heights with high resolution, HDR, and HFR to immersive viewing experiences on big large screens. A viewing experience much superior to the present-day cinema is being promised right within the four walls of your home. In this era of TV everywhere and OTT, media and entertainment along with gaming industries too are likely to be very much different with virtual reality (VR) and 360-deg cameras in the coming time.

With this backdrop, if we look and wish to talk about 2017-18 vision for sales, we see a lot of opportunities and challenges too.

There are more than 800 TV channels operative in our country, which are producing content and up-linking. Out of these, not more than 10 percent channels are HD TV channels. Hence most of our TV channels have to shift to HD TV format. Therefore, a major boost to the industry is expected due to this expected standard definition (SD) to high definition (HD) upgradation. Demand for more HD TV channels from the viewers is expected to grow as the number of HD-compatible TV homes is increasing due to the easy availability of HD-compatible flat panel/LCD TVs at affordable price. A boost in the new HD systems/equipment's demand is also expected due to most awaited replacement of the old SD TV equipment/systems by HD TV equipment.

Over-the-top (OTT) broadcasting, which provides worldwide availability of TV channel content, is attracting the broadcaster as it is proving to be a money spinner worldwide for many TV channels. Since the past two years, this industry in India has noticed a sizeable growth in this segment.

As far as 4K/UHD TV technology is concerned, it is getting boost in digital cinema and high-quality episodic (serials) production. Since the last few years, demand for high-end 4K/UHD TV cameras was seen in Mumbai content production market. Production houses and the rental companies have replaced and are replacing their old HD cameras/camcorders by 4K/UHD TV cameras/camcorders. Last year, some sales of such cameras were seen in Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Jaipur too.

Wedding video graphic and documentary production market has also got attracted to 4K/HD cameras. A good sale of low hand-held professional 4K/UHD cameras was noticed last year. As far as 8K is concerned, studio cameras and other equipment such as recorders/players are available from various manufacturers, which include Hitachi, Sony, Panasonic, Ikegami, etc. But there is no demand.

As far as the adoption of 4K/QHD technology amongst the broadcasters is concerned, I feel they are not in a hurry to adopt this technology. Most of the broadcasters are applying wait-and-watch policy. Of course, a limited use of 4K/QHD technology may happen for providing selected sports and events coverage.

Professional small sensor-based PTZ cameras, which can be controlled remotely, have a good market in the education, news channel, e-learning, and high-end securities. These are some additional verticals, which are attracting the vendors and are opening new opportunities. Business in these segments/verticals is increasing and it is getting boost from the government skill development schemes also.