Kitplus - The TV-Bay Magazine

To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.

UHD. Replacing traditional OTA transmission to the home with transmission of bits over the internet is not only a way to deliver UHD now, but also a vehicle that offers all of the benefits of OTT: enhanced advertising opportunities, data mining, and on-demand viewing. It requires a paradigm shift in regulatory thinking, and an even bigger one in broadcaster’s boardrooms. There is much to figure out. Pressing questions include how to regionalize and maintain existing ad revenue while ramping up new monetization methods; how to use big data viewer metrics to deliver useful ad targeting; and how to manage and monetize a library of on-demand content. With these questions come the challenges of managing an entirely software-based delivery system that puts control in the hands of current and coming generations of viewers. Where does it all end? For OTT-casters, there is no obvious conclusion. The internet will continue to penetrate markets worldwide, and available bitrates will continue to climb while cost per bit continues to drop. Combined with the evolution of processing power and codecs, the delivery of high-quality content such as UHD programming will become increasingly trivial. The shift from personal computer-type platforms to smart devices is well underway, making them true OTT television consumption vehicles. OTA broadcasters face the challenge of addressing an evolving audience and following a long road to the next technology step. Content considerations aside, their ability to harness the modern internet consumer is key to their survival. Will they do it with a big transmitter on a hill? Perhaps not for much longer. Spectrum is under continuous and growing pressure for redeployment, mostly for internet bits. There will come a tipping point at which the value of the bandwidth required by a TV broadcast clearly is not equal to the value of other bits that could occupy that space. Finally, broadcasters face the demographic shift of their viewers from those who grew up with and are content with appointment TV and those who want what they want, when they want it. The whole model of scheduled broadcasting came from the limitations of the technology of the day, and that’s no longer relevant in the OTT world, nor to its inhabitants. A well-curated broadcast stream and a library of pull content could be the basis for a solid future model for broadcasters. To thrive in the future, OTA broadcasters need to look beyond the next big format and instead find workable models for relevance and monetization on the internet sooner than later. UHD will come along for free. Paul Briscoe began his career in the broadcasting industry in 1980 at the CBC in Toronto. Specializing in the then-new arena of digital television, he was one of the designers of the Toronto Broadcast Center, with particular focus on the plant routing system, computer graphics facilities and overall systemization and timing. Prior to CBC (and during a brief hiatus), he was involved in technology startups and provided system and product design consultation to various clients. Briscoe join Leitch Technology as Product Engineer in 1994, defining products for the new digital era. Over his 19 years at Leitch (subsequently Harris Broadcast, now Imagine Communications), he was a Project Leader, Development Group Leader, R&D Manager, Manager of Strategic Engineering and Principal Engineer. Briscoe left Harris Broadcast in November 2013, and now provides system, technology, design and standards consultation to the ever- evolving media industry. He has several patents granted and in process, is a member of SMPTE and IEEE, is an active participant on numerous SMPTE standards committees and serves as the Section Chair of the Toronto Section. TV BAY-HALF-PAGE-LYNX-BRICK-WALL-IBC-OL.ai 1 6/29/2015 2:03:09 PM KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 103 JULY 2015 | 53