Broadcasters in danger of being swamped by multiplatform QC and workflow demands, says report

Are television stations equipped to meet the demands of the evolving content delivery landscape, or will they be overwhelmed by the workflow and quality control requirements that must be met to support mobile and Internet delivery of television content?

A new study for Positive Flux, in part, concludes stations are in danger of being swamped by these new demands without fundamental changes that will help them stay ahead of the fast-paced changes. The report, “U.S. TV Stations Infrastructure: The HD Transition Has Just Begun,” includes some startling revelations, including:

• While almost 90 percent of stations have adopted nonlinear editing, most have not taken the next step of developing unified workflows to eliminate process duplication for content delivery to multiple platforms.

• Many station executives view HDTV and new platform support as a cost of doing business, rather than an opportunity to rethink station operations and add efficiencies.

• Station engineers lack visibility into where their signals go after leaving their facilities. As stations embrace new economic models and new technology including mobile, interactivity and addressable advertisements, knowledge of these downstream paths will become critical for new business development.

“Broadcasters are justified in their excitement for the opportunities made possible by delivering TV services to mobile and Internet-connected devices, but few have equipped themselves to handle the sheer volume and variety of formats this entails,” says Larry Thaler, president of Positive Flux.
He added, “Alongside completing their HD transition, stations should be carefully considering organizational improvements and workflow tools that will enable them to dynamically adapt their production and delivery chains without creating parallel organizations or new layers of technology.”

The study surveyed senior engineering management at more than 350 U.S. broadcast stations of all sizes, including station groups, O&Os and independent stations.