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Top Video Predictions in 2016: IP Technologies

Video Appliances

This week is the final post of  The Top 16 Predictions for the Video World in 2016.

2016 will see the rise of IP technologies. Here’s a preview of what we can expect to see.

LTE Broadcast Coming Eventually?
Being standardized with release 9 (with AVC) in 2012, with an update in 2014 with Release 12 (with HEVC), eMBMS, now called LTE broadcast, has gone through some speed bumps. It started with questions about the use case (i.e., stadium, national feeds), and then went to the infrastructure discussion, followed by the chipsets available in smart phones. Now we have ended up in an “HEVC Advance situation.” With most MNOs deploying trials and a few (e.g., KT, Telstra, Verizon) starting to deploy an LTE broadcast service in 2015, we will see more services deployed in 2016. Stadium use cases are understood by everyone; what is less clear is national broadcast. We see more people consuming mobile services on-demand (typically time shifted content), and it is unclear if live will have real market traction. The industry has learned from the failures of DVB-H or ATSC M/H, so caution will have to be applied here.

Next-Generation Broadcast is Coming to Life
ATSC 3.0 has been around for several years, and 2016 will see the first public demonstration of what we call the next-generation broadcasting system. ATSC 3.0 will have a new modulation scheme, IP-based multiplexing, a new codec for audio and video, and mobile and UHD resolution support. But more importantly it will be able to dynamically allocate spectrum resources and use IP delivery to provide content to all screens. This is a major shift for broadcasters that have decided to depart from transport stream (20 years already!) and take a future-proof approach, where video can be directed to a carousel type of IP delivery over the air or can be streamed to an IP network. In 2016 we will see decisions being made on the coding scheme, especially with regards to how to transport mobile UHD/HDR. We expect to see several trials this year, especially with the Olympics in July, paving the way for the first commercial deployments in 2017 in Korea and later in the U.S.

The Broadcast World Goes IP
The production world is evolving from an appliance-based architecture with SDI connectivity, to a software and virtualized environment where IP is the only way to connect different functions. In addition, even in a hardware appliance world SDI connectivity is reaching its limits; here IP connectivity makes a lot of sense, especially when new formats like Ultra HD will be introduced. Several industry groups such as SMPTE, AMWA, VSF and now AIMS are pushing the IP agenda very hard and we expect 2016 to be the year of video over IP. Now the question will be to figure out which flavor should be deployed: SDI over IP (SMPTE ST 2022-6), lightly compressed (TICO, LLVC, VC-2) or other proprietary formats, which some companies would like to see emerge.

– Thierry Fautier, Vice President, Video Strategy at Harmonic and President of the Ultra HD Forum

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