If we leave aside the hypothesis, shared by many, that this important event is especially interesting for the American market, rather than the European and Italian ones, it was in any case a hub of precious information on the whole structure of this industry, broadcast and media sectors.
At the fair, we met Fabio Veggiato Sales & Marketing Manager of MediaPower and also Eugenio Pettazzi, Sales Manager of MediaPower to understand many of the most interesting trends and innovations that cross the entire broadcast and audio-video sector.
They told us about streaming, 5G connectivity, cloud production, remote production, AI, workflow with a single proprietary suite, and multipurpose displays.
In this first part, we talk about Streaming, 5G and the proprietary ARKKI suite.
Presspool: “One of the first obvious industry trends seen at NAB is everyone’s growing interest in streaming. Is it the real great revolution?”
Fabio Veggiato: “Yes In 2022, revenues for the streaming market in the United States were approximately $4 billion and are expected to triple over the next five years.
With 377 Over-The-Top (OTT) providers in the US and 88% of US Internet homes having at least one OTT subscription service, traditional Pay TV is “still alive”, mainly due to live sports content coverage.
But even this content is increasingly moving towards streaming.
Streaming gives access to the only truly global network: the public internet.
On-demand is streaming by definition, think of Mediaset Play, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Dazn and a hundred others.
Even linear television is gradually moving from traditional platforms such as DTT and SAT to diffusion on the Internet.
Indeed, in 2022 streaming surpassed the number of TV viewers for the first time.
The phenomenon of FAST CHANNELS (Free Ad-supported Streaming TV) is a prime example.
It is with streaming that I can launch a new channel at extremely low costs, overnight, and be visible all over the planet.
Streaming on the public network also becomes a useful system in the contribution.
Where it hasn’t already done so, it will replace the satellite and will also question the dedicated fibres, because they are too expensive.
Presspool: Which companies, products and brands, and therefore innovative solutions, does MediaPower suggest to face this revolution?
Fabio Veggiato: “One of the last brands welcomed in the prestigious bouquet of famous brands and companies with ideal products for the Italian market is Caton Technology.
Caton Prime and Caton Transport Protocol (CTP) products are ideal because they allow you to have the highest quality and reliability to distribute live video, with very low latency, securely on any private network or on the public internet.
As we said above, several projects are starting which see the IP on the public network replace the contribution via satellite, even for valuable content, such as the football Premier League.
Another brand that boasts fundamental products in our offer and that also fits into the streaming discourse is TVU Networks.
A prominent example of contributing only through the public network is CNN which has been distributing its agency feeds for some time, thanks to TVU Networks‘ IS+ transmission technology.
So CNN no longer uses satellites, which is too expensive and also less reliable.
TVU Networks IS+ over IP allows for lower latency and higher resiliency than SRT, even in UHD.
Presspool: “There has also been much talk about 5G and increased connectivity on necessarily more powerful and effective connection networks”.
Eugenio Pettazzi: “It is a trend directly linked to streaming, in fact, the launch of 5G networks is revolutionizing the AV, IT and broadcast sectors thanks to higher speeds, lower latency and greater capacity.
Reliable 5G or streaming television transmission can become a cheaper and more efficient alternative to maintaining existing transmission infrastructure, such as television or radio masts or the use of satellite.
Even the personalization of content becomes simple.
Just think of the possibility of sending different advertising to different groups of users.
The typical “one size fits all” network paradigm employed in the mobile networks of the past (2G, 3G and 4G) is no longer suited to efficiently deal with a mod market segment made up of very different applications and services.
Presspool: “At NAB some of the most interesting insights from the “NAB Amplify” columns and conferences were dedicated to how broadcasters are prioritizing efficiency in network operations thanks to 5G “Network Slicing”.
Eugenio Pettazzi: “Network Slicing emerges as an essential technique in 5G networks to meet such different and possibly conflicting quality of service (QoS) requirements by exploiting a single physical network infrastructure.
The basic idea of this technology is to “split” the original network architecture into several logical and independent networks configured to effectively meet the various service requirements.
Considering the limited number of 5G users today, the risk of not having sufficient capacity for a 5G TV broadcast is very low.
However, the need for network slicing will soon grow as more 5G users grow.
Broadcasters of the future will need a way to deliver a guaranteed level of throughput. This technology does just that – it effectively separates part of a 5G network for a particular application.
The broadcaster will therefore be able to request dedicated network sections in a similar way to how satellite capacity is booked today and in addition 5G will become valuable in various applications, from experiences in VR to solutions for smart devices or, as we said, in streaming of live events.
MediaPower, precisely for this need, distributes in Italy the US brand TVU Networks which has TVU One in its catalogue.
TVU ONE is an extraordinary portable device, a backpack that allows you to transfer live video in UHD quality with a latency of less than a second, at 100 Mbps, with H265 encoding, on an infrastructure with a 5G cellular connection.
Presspool: “So, big news both in acquisition/contribution, and at the other end of the media chain, distribution and monetisation. And, speaking of the intermediate production workflow, we have caught the “rumour” of a proprietary production suite of MediaPower, considered unique for its leanness, modernity and brilliant costs. Can we anticipate something?”
Fabio Veggiato: “Sure; is our fundamental workhorse: the proprietary suite of MediaPower – called “ARKKI” – is the heart of any modern digital production process.
It is the ideal manager of all production segments: through modules, which can also be purchased at different times, it was created to centralize all production and distribution phases and – as such – deals with acquisition, contribution, transcoding, storage, indexing, intelligent archive, broadcasting, cross-platform distribution, streaming, monetization, etc, so everything!
This suite conceived from scratch, thanks to MediaPower’s over thirty years of experience and its very high specialization in the broadcast field, focuses only on the important functions and becomes very easy to daily use, without unnecessary complications.
It makes the workflow fluid and productive, both “on-prem”, both in the cloud or in a mixed configuration, so as to respond to the market’s precise needs for “smart” concreteness
All this at a fraction of the cost of apparently similar suites, perhaps of a better-known name, but which often have lower capacities, or which, in any case, require more specialized skills, long “babysitting” and are definitely much, much more expensive.
This is a topic that certainly deserves further study, also because ARKKI boasts many trendy pluses, such as speech-to-text, a core base developed on AI and ML, and much more”.