NAB Show 2018 in Las Vegas where Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) presented ready-made solutions for broadcasting companies was over on April 12, 2018. The largest international media technology forum was mainly focused on content processing and transmission.
It was attended by global telecom operators, pay TV operators, application and production solution developers, shooting equipment producers - i.e. everyone who is somehow engaged in the media and television content creation. The chaotic, at first glance, mixture of the telecom, television and information technology industries actually demonstrates a close and deep convergence to achieve a common goal.
The slogan of the 2018 show was successfully worded as a title of one of the conference sessions: “The Mission’s the Same - The Tools may Vary”. Actually, it says that goals and objectives of all market players are satisfying the principal and basic needs of the user – to obtain up-to-date information with no wait. Despite the standout performance of Google and Amazon an artificial intelligence based solution providing a full cycle of content processing and broadcasting and announced as a new view on broadcasting, which was presented last year, most of the show was devoted to traditional encoding and content transfer technologies.
As for mobile communications, the 5G market solution gives undeniable new opportunities for mobile access to contents: low latency, much higher rate compared to 4G and, therefore, great opportunities for a high-quality content transfer. Today, the bandwidth used for video services on mobile devices has doubled and increased by 1.5 times on gadgets and tablets. But the traditional TV consumption demonstrates a fall.
At the same time, processing a large amount of data that reflect the consumer image and various recommendation engines proposing targeted contents according to specific needs of the user are becoming increasingly important in the TV market. Slogans such as "Make Streaming Personal" or "Your content at their fingertips" are viewed on stands of both application developers and global telecom operators. This once again emphasizes the focus on the general idea of customizing the access to the global content. An interesting opinion was expressed by a Cisco specialist who stated that the time of pay TV operators is passing away and standard broadcast solutions are being replaced by access to ecosystems, of course, having cloud technologies in mind.
As for other trends, this year it is undoubtedly Virtual Reality (VR)/360-video. At the show, the dynamic 360-video image solution was brilliantly demonstrated by Intel. Anyone could, without getting up from a chair, ride on a platform right amidst the Brazilian carnival. This indicates that the Intel processor has learned to cope with processing heavy videos and large amounts of data.
UHD/HDR pictures that have become familiar are perceived as an industrial reality, therefore, both operators and equipment manufacturers present solutions based on these standards. The fact that most of the show was devoted to HEVC, both in hardware and software, means that traditional pay TV operators will soon begin to stuff their packages with UHD contents.