It’s here…TV has embraced IP Delivery

Rarely has there been two weeks that can be viewed as “epic,” but this year’s NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show, along with TV Connect in London, is by virtue coinciding with what is arguably the biggest shift in broadcasting since the introduction of cable TV.

Following court decisions and then FCC rules that freed cable in the late ’70s, the broadcast business was forever changed with an outpouring of new cable channels and broadcast superstations all over all-IP operations from camera, production then to post production and distribution, is bound to be every bit as disruptive to today’s television business models as anything in the past.

At this year’s NAB marked a moment of recognition that almost every entity engaged in the business of broadcasting TV content, including big national networks, local station groups even niche cable channels, has embraced the IP transition mandate. Of course this won’t happen overnight, but, as broadcast executives participating in the NAB panel addressing Source Code made clear, the move to IP is already having a profound impact on how they conduct their businesses with prospects for much greater change in the years ahead.

At TV Connect in London, there was much the same with all activity with actually already embracing IP and moving aggressively to MCN’s as a primary distribution model with many of the major networks currently participating.

Several shoes dropped at NAB representing new vehicles that are falling into place to enable new IP-based business models to flourish. With the prove-in phase for orchestrated cloud-based technology, IP-based workflows and video processing platforms well underway, two outstanding issues had to do with whether the industry would come together on interoperability standards and if broadcasters would be able to replicate the performance capabilities of traditional over-the-air, satellite and cable distribution to achieve the
monetization envisioned for direct-to-consumer initiatives.

What was key was CDN strategies implemented by Ericsson, and a few others are good beginnings. Being able to watch live sports and their favorite TV programs in UHD on Internet-connected displays when you’d like to especially with consistency of an experience comparable to watching HD on a cable pay TV service.

In light of all that happened at NAB and then again in London at TV Connect, there’s no argument that we’ll never be going back to the “old” television from last month. Between now and then the industry will have gone a long way toward defining what the business models will be that move us into the post-cable age of video entertainment.