This year the EBU BroadThinking Conference was sounding like a holistic swirl, a milestone in the trend of technology to define sets that are greater than the sum of their parts, through creative evolution. « Where Broadcast Meets BroadBand », you get some interesting fusion effect occurring and diluting the traditional boundaries of the screens, with the handheld devices being part of the big screen experience or extending it rather than trying to scalp it, in an environment where all the devices converge towards a restricted set of standards rather than tracing their own line.
While most of IBC’s buzz was generated by the shiny #hevc + 4K couple, it was a good occasion to stand back from the hype and measure how one of the most important video standards (at least for the #ott world) had spread over the industry since last year. MPEG-DASH is not sexy (let’s remember that it’s basically a collection of XML schemes), it’s a bit boring (as it’s usually demonstrated with the Big Buck Bunny that you saw not less than 2.000 times) and it’s complex – but once you go past those defaults, you might find that its potential to simplify your workflows and boost the profitability of your video service is high…
And that’s precisely what the industry has finally understood: video distributors want to streamline their workflows and save their storage budgets by reducing the number of output formats, they search for ways to build long term strategies with evolutive solutions – and all of this implies rolling away from proprietary #abr solutions like Smooth Streaming, HLS, HDS and the now defunct Widevine WVM proprietary packaging format (rest in peace), DASH’s first victim.
Nothing was more welcome after day 1 of EBU BroadThinking 2013 than a good night of sleep, in order to reset the tech hype counters and make some mental room for two new sessions on broadcasters’ CDNs and the latest advances of #hybrid platforms. What would be the best broadcasters’ CDN architectures today, what would be their smartest (green) evolutions, would CDN-Federation standards finally bring interop reality over hopes, what would be the most advanced deployments and future of HbbTV, how it compares with YouView in the UK : day 2 agenda was looking quite attractive – and indeed the presentations were packed with valuable informations and experience feedbacks.
Geneva in late March doesn’t feel as wild as a Las Vegas boulevard, but still there was a reasonable amount of gaming excitement at the EBU headquarters, where several events were following each other, beginning with a #dash Interoperability Forum meeting which was closely followed by the BroadThinking event, where industry actors and broadcasters come to show off their latest implementations advances and/or share the results of their real-life deployments or research studies. A good way of managing the transition between TV Connect and NAB…
Where Broadcast meets Broadband : that’s the promise of the EBU’s hybrid event which flies between industry competition, standardization efforts and broadcasters’ realpolitik – all wrapped in a warm and funny ambiance provided by the various speakers and the EBU team. The 2013 edition was a major success because it allowed the participants to get a rather good idea of the general trends of the industry, and at the same time to go deep in technology when needed, while having opportunities to discover edge tech demos on the lobby attending the conference room.
This study aims at isolating the main OTT Video Services trends (End-user driven & Production driven) and at pointing out relevant technologies with their maturity estimation and corresponding Vendor + Technology offer tuples.
NAB 2012 closed its doors two weeks ago, so it’s a good time to draw an appraisal on various themes concerning OTT issues, and especially premium OTT issues, that have been handled through industry technology offer during the tradeshow. Here we’ll go from production to distribution and examine the salient NAB facts and products, at least the ones which have a potential influence on OTT workflows evolution in the coming months (or years ?).