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4K fuels broadcaster demand for remote production

Net Insight, a provider of efficient and scalable transport solutions, will discuss at NAB why the growing demand for 4K content is now a key driver for using remote production and centralised workflows in the broadcasting of live events.

The live events industry has grown massively over the past few years. It has been driven by an increase in demand for higher quality live content, a change in behaviour in terms of viewing habits and the pursuit of greater revenues by broadcasters and media service providers.

One way for broadcasters and media operators to increase revenue and enhance profitability is to offer more live content of a higher quality, but this poses a major challenge since the costs associated with such productions are very high. As an example, some of Net Insight’s customers have highlighted they would need to invest up to around $10 million each year in new outside broadcast (OB) trucks to keep up with the increased number of live events, and with more 4K productions on the horizon they will require new production equipment, including OB trucks that will need to be rebuilt or exchanged in order to work with the new 4K ultra high definition (UHD) standards.

To deliver live content in these new higher quality formats and achieve greater revenue and profits, broadcasters and media operators need to streamline production in order to keep costs down, avoid bottlenecks in production facilities and make efficient use of resources such as people and equipment. One of the most important technology trends to address this rising cost and at the same time help broadcasters and media operators gain greater efficiencies in transporting more high quality live video is remote production and centralized workflows with the potential to produce more content with less resources.

Normally live events require an entire crew and on-site production facilities to capture, edit and transmit content back to production and distribution centers, usually over a satellite communications link provided by an OB truck. Using remote production dramatically cuts operating expenditure by reducing the volume of personnel required to travel to events, cuts down on on-site equipment costs, eliminating the need for OB trucks, and perhaps most importantly opens up the content contribution side to smaller crews, which offers the potential to increase the number of live events that can be broadcast through the efficient the use of personnel.

“With new centralised workflows associated with remote production techniques, the potential for savings are huge, by not having to transport equipment to every event – eliminating the need to send an OB truck, and its associated crew, with an uplink to the event site,” says Martin Karlsson, CTO and vice president product portfolio at Net Insight. “We can see from our customers that 4K is accelerating the shift toward remote production workflows. By employing remote production techniques there is no need to update OB trucks, which helps broadcasters and media service providers keep down capital and operational expenditures, while using high-fiber offers the potential for massive network cost savings.”

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