Broadcasters and content creators today need solutions that enable them to create, control, and connect content wherever, however, and whenever it is consumed. In this ever-changing media landscape, content remains the most important element. In fact, many professionals are faced with the need to create and support new workflows while continuing to operate their legacy workflows, simultaneously broadcasting through traditional channels, over-the-top (OTT) platforms, and video-on-demand (VOD) as well as to tablets, PCs, and mobile devices.{mosimage}

Driving many advances in content workflows is the ongoing adoption of IP technology in the broadcast industry. For more than a year, experts have been talking about the benefits of an IP infrastructure in delivering content for this market. Internet protocol (IP) technology offers scalability, flexible processing, fault tolerance, and more that help a broadcaster improve workflow. IP also enables broadcasters to create new revenue models by using content and metadata in novel ways to more easily match content and ads with specific viewers. Most importantly, though, moving to IP now enables broadcasters to stay ready for these future advancements and take advantage of the always-increasing processing speed in commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment.

Other industries have been leveraging the power of IP technology for years - traditional data centers are just one example. However, the reality is that existing operations cannot afford to abandon an SDI (serial digital interface) workflow and bring in all new IP equipment, so customers are turning to intermediate hybrid solutions that allow them to begin using more IP solutions within their existing environments.

Integrating IP interfaces into more products throughout the content production workflow is a critical step in ensuring that an operation will be able to make the IP transition at their own pace as they upgrade their businesses. The industry is on the cusp of the shift that will bring IP into the mainstream, moving away from the earliest solutions which were really just focused on IP routing with some glue around them to make them work in the SDI environment.

One of the most significant obstacles for widespread adoption of IP into broadcast workflows is the lack of common industry-wide standards. Suppliers need these in order to establish reliable interoperability and generate a wide range of options for broadcasters. Once these standards are in place, we will start to see more widespread adoption in many forms.

Another key element in creating, controlling, and connecting compelling content is the adoption of 4K and HDR camera technology. Already making headlines as some broadcasters have begun to roll out 4K for special events, widespread adoption will take some time. This is true in part because although native 4K cameras are available, the infrastructure to move, switch, and edit 4K is still developing. At the same time, consumer ability to receive and display a 4K signal is limited. There is also interest in high-dynamic range (HDR) technology, which is poised to provide more immediate benefits in image quality and vibrancy. Easier to deliver via the existing infrastructure, HDR signals offer a better viewing experience than current HD content.

Broadcast industry is morphing into a collection of services capable of creating and delivering the immediacy and convenience consumers demand, while delivering different viewer experiences across different platforms is both a challenge and an opportunity. Expanding a broadcaster's or content owner's audience while generating new revenue streams is fast becoming a necessity. Deploying the right tools to navigate this progression helps professionals keep an eye on efficiently delivering quality content where and when it is needed and capitalize on new revenue-generating opportunities.