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

To meet broadcasters evolving needs, replay solutions should be flexible and scalable, supporting SD, HD, high frame rate, and 4K UHD with the ability to grow as channel count increases.

With viewers turning more frequently to on-demand content and digital streaming, there are few programs that attract real-time audiences and garner next-day water cooler talk like live events. Live production, including sports, breaking news, award shows, and more, is one of the most demanding, yet rewarding and profitable, applications in broadcast today. Live events are imperative to broadcasters looking to attract viewers; but the nature of live events is that you only get one chance to make an impression.

Live event viewers expect to see all the action in crisp images and vibrant colors, they want to see highlights and replays from every angle and they have no patience for interruptions in the signal, so it is critical to get it right the first time. From capture to switching to replay and infrastructure, solutions for every step of the live production process must provide broadcast professionals the flexibility they need to produce the seamless, high-quality live content viewers have come to expect today and in the future as HDR, 4K UHD, and IP play a larger role.

When it comes to cameras, broadcasters require choices offering varying levels of operational flexibility to match every production need, depending on the location, type, and scope of the event. This includes a range of HD formats, including 1080p, wide color gamut, and HDR, as well as size ranges including compact cameras for angles that are difficult to reach or impractical for camera operators.

Today's best switchers enable broadcasters and directors to efficiently build the show. Multiple panels are a must to build multiple shows off the same frame at the same time and integration between switchers is important for seamless content creation. Modularity is also helpful for easy upgradability to an all-IP or mixed SDI and IP environment. Again, a diverse line of flexible solutions is key, especially for those production environments that are tight physically or financially, not only for switchers but for replay platforms as well. To meet broadcasters' evolving needs, replay solutions should be flexible and scalable, supporting SD, HD, high frame rate, and 4K UHD with the ability to grow as channel count increases.

At the heart of any live production is the network. The relative newness of IP networking means it is critical for organizations across the broadcast industry to collaborate, combining their strengths and learning from one another to bring seamless solutions to production environments and high-quality content to viewers. High-functioning IP solutions for broadcast are not one-size-fits-all and an alliance between two leaders in their respective markets, like Grass Valley's recent collaboration with Cisco, can provide customers with a tightly integrated and tested system and a single point of contact for all network and edge-device questions.

Along the same lines, the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), an independent trade association founded by Grass Valley and others to ensure that all IP solutions brought to market offer complete interoperability, helps ensure open standards that will integrate seamlessly into current workflow environments. That way, whether broadcasters choose to deploy a solution from only one company or a solution that includes multiparty components, all pieces of the workflow speak the same language and deliver the best results possible.

The success of live event broadcast depends on equipment designed to increase efficiency and overcome complexity. In its cameras, switchers, replay platforms, and broadcast data center networking solutions, Grass Valley meets both of those needs and helps broadcasters design an ideal system that meets their exact needs – both today and down the road.