TV TECHNOLOGY: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trends at the 2020 NAB Show?
SCOTT MURRAY: There are certainly a number of trends we’ve been watching. Demand for programming continues to trend up, both in terms of traditional programming and increasingly, streaming of live events such as sports and concerts. This demand for more content is fueling the growth in OTT video services and technologies. Programmers now engage directly with their customers, while retaining maximum control over the media and its distribution. Delivering quality content to both traditional and OTT methods efficiently while monitoring along every point in the chain, demands new workflows and tools. Telestream has been laser-focused on solving those challenges for our customers, regardless of what platform they are using in the cloud.
And while OTT is indeed a growing trend, there are others that are of significance as well. There’s the demand for HDR content (as evidenced by Fox streaming the Super Bowl simultaneously in both SDR and HDR). The cloud is still a significant trend in that everyone is discussing what they should do about their next round of capex investments (i.e. “Do I build a next-gen data center or move to the cloud?”). Full IP production is another significant trend because broadcast infrastructures are now being built around IP routing with the ability to handle video, audio and metadata (SMPTE 2110) with mixed formats. State-of-the-art trucks and broadcast centers are now being built around an IP infrastructure.
It’s important that we allow machines to do what they do best—sorting through data, managing redundant processes and making intelligent business decisions based on clear sets of business rules. This frees up humans to do what they do best—advancing the creative craft of storytelling and designing new business models to compete for viewers. Organizations are actively moving parts of their workflows to the cloud where and when it makes sense, so figuring out how to best use the cloud continues to trend. For distribution, we’re seeing more content owners going direct to viewers. That makes them responsible for monitoring quality, and we supply the tools to do that.
Our strategy has been to support all of these trends. We offer on-prem and cloud multiscreen encoding with monitoring of the distribution content for OTT. Vantage, Lightspeed Live Stream and PRISM support HDR workflows. Vantage Cloud Port obviously supports the cloud, and PRISM supports test and measurement for IP production.
TVT: What will be your most important product news?
MURRAY: With so many products, it’s hard to pick out the most important news. Based on customer feedback, the continued evolution of Vantage Cloud Port is turning a lot of heads. Being cloud-agnostic and multicloud, and seamlessly moving processing to the cloud provider of your choice all while having a transparent view of how much services cost. Our overarching goal is to meet customers where they are with regards to their cloud transformation needs.
Other important news is in regard to supporting the latest workflows in IMF package delivery, and supporting wide color gamut, HDR, Dolby Vision and object-based audio within automated processing of the Vantage world. Test and measurement of these new color standards during production and post has equally become critical with our PRISM media analysis platform. For monitoring streaming quality at every point in the distribution chain, our OptiQ Monitor and our iQ products give programmers instant feedback on where issues are occurring, hopefully before customers notice a significant loss in quality.
TVT: How is your new product different from what’s available on the market?
MURRAY: Thanks to the strategic acquisitions Telestream has made, we are uniquely positioned to provide customers with automated media processing and transformation across the entire media value chain. Only Telestream delivers these lens-to-device workflows with quality monitoring and measurement at every stage of the acquisition, post and delivery processes. Everything we’ve ever done has led us to this moment, so it’s really great to be a market leader at such a transformative time in the media and entertainment business. Of course, the beauty of all these solutions coming from one company is that we can develop them as our customers evolve their business models and their viewers evolve their consumption habits.
TVT: What is it about the NAB Show that brings you back every year?
MURRAY: The NAB Show is the number one place to engage with customers and prospects to understand their needs and business goals. It’s also the best place to get validation from our customers on all the hard work we’ve been doing—much of it based on their direct feedback. The relationship between customers and manufacturers has changed. We are more like partners with our customers than mere manufacturers or vendors. The new world of IP-video, virtualization and cloud requires conversations and innovation between parties. Our customers rely on that relationship and know that we’re in it for the long haul. The days of selling boxes and just parting ways is long gone, and I like doing business this way much better. The NAB Show makes all these face-to-face interactions possible on a massive scale.
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