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Enabling Innovation in Broadcast


Next week the ETL team will be at NAB along with the majority of the broadcast industry. It is one of the most exciting shows of the year, not just because of the bright lights of Las Vegas, but also because it is an amazing showcase of all the evolution in the broadcast industry. Expect wall-to-wall Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) demos along with the fair share of Ultra High Definition videos playing throughout the halls. The other area that is fascinating right now is Internet of Things (IoT) and I am really hoping there will be some interesting examples of marrying IoT with broadcast video this year.


Satellite often doesn’t get the limelight at NAB but it does remain the key to enabling a lot of these innovative services and continual connectivity. One of the most obvious pluses for satellite is the connectivity everywhere. There remain large regions where there is no or little fibre connectivity, but satellite can reach everywhere. It remains important for those live broadcasts especially for breaking news where a crew needs to be able to simply turn up and start broadcasting within moments.


Satellite also remains important for Ultra HD delivery. Demand for 4K content is pushing the popularity of satellite services. This is because satellite is easily capable of coping with the high-bandwidth required by 4K, whereas streaming this content usually requires internet speeds of around 25Mbps. This is pretty significant when we consider that the BBC recently reported that the average broadband speed of the UK is 18.5Mbps. 


No matter how the broadcast is being distributed there are a few things which are and will remain important, especially as competition continues to increase:


  1. Resiliency – broadcasters simply cannot afford any downtime as viewers will simply switch to another source of content.
  2. Efficiency – as pressure increases, broadcasters are looking to improve efficiency, enabling them to get their videos to viewers quicker and with less cost.
  3. Redundancy – things inevitably will go wrong at times and that will be out of the broadcasters’ hands. Being able to switch power supply or sites is crucial to ensuring that doesn’t impact what is seen on TV screens.
  4. Quality – consumers expect good quality. As soon as it is anything less than expected, they will simply go elsewhere.


At NAB, we will be demonstrating a range of solutions that support broadcasters with these needs. This includes our new Enigma Switch Matrix models, which offer improved performance and enhanced resilience to keep broadcasters connected.


To find out what else we will be demonstrating or to book a meeting, please check out our NAB page.