NAB 2016:  Topics Driving the Media Sector

By Peter Ostapiuk, Head of Media Product Services

It’s hard to believe that it was less than two years ago when we first demonstrated the transmission of 4K UHDTV over satellite. As we enter the second half of 2016, are we any closer to a mass adoption of 4K? What about other talked-about topics such as OTT and digital advertising? At NAB, these three trends grabbed the spotlight and much of the discussion.

  1. 4K UHDTV – The Year to Turn Content into Cash? A viable business model may be the last piece of the 4K UHDTV puzzle to come together in 2016. More 4K UHDTV content is being produced and becoming more widely available, sales of 4K UHD television sets are on sharp increase and HEVC compression technology 1has matured.  Additionally, Intelsat and its ecosystem partners have conducted 4K UHDTV transmissions demonstrations of various applications and standards since 2013, proving satellites currently in orbit are able to cost efficiently deliver high-quality 4K UHDTV content.  The question of how to best monetize the 4K UHDTV immersive viewing experience remains a barrier to widespread adoption.Meanwhile, the ecosystem continues to demonstrate its commitment to supporting customers’ successful rollouts of 4K UHDTV. Intelsat’s 4K UHDTV demonstration channel for North America TV markets, HVN Intelsat UHD, has launched full time.  This will enable customers to display their 4K UHDTV content via linear broadcasts in crystal-clear 2160p60 resolution. HVN Intelsat UHD is now available to media customers in Latin America via C-band on the Intelsat 14 satellite located at 315˚ East, an emerging media platform in Latin America. We invite programmers and content providers to contact us to conduct a test of the distribution ecosystem. 
  1. New Opportunities: Taking Linear Content Over-the-Top. Just over a year ago, four major players in the media industry – HBO, Univision, CBS and Turner – announced long-term strategies for giving viewers what they want — more content everywhere. Today, all four companies are delivering both linear and on-demand video content to consumers’ multiscreen devices – but not without challenges.As the demand for delivering reliable, high-quality, linear OTT content increases, terrestrial Content Delivery Networks are coming under pressure in service reliability and costs.  Surges in OTT viewership for live events often lead to crashing, buffering, slow start-up time and significant latency compared to broadcast feeds.  The internet was not designed to accommodate traffic surges like these, and the resulting strain on the terrestrial network translates to a poor viewing experience. This presents an opportunity for alternative cost-effective solutions to provide the high-quality viewing experience viewers demand, and broadcasters and advertisers expect.
  1. Digital Advertising Boom. We expect advertising dollars to follow the eyeballs as viewers shift from traditional linear Pay-TV viewing to multiscreen devices. According to the Interpublic Group’s recent forecast, digital ad spending in the U.S. is expected to grow 13.5 percent in 2016.  OTT platforms present the opportunity for targeted and personal advertising, enabling smarter advertising and programming decisions.That being said, linear TV remains the number-one way viewers are consuming media today.   While we anticipate multiscreen viewing to increase, we believe it is a complimentary way to view content and an additional way to generate advertising dollars via measured content tracking.

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