With a new year comes new challenges and fresh opportunities for Pro AV in 2016. Epiphan execs give their insights on what the future holds for the industry.
Recently I had the opportunity to sit and chat with our CEO, Mike Sandler and VP of Product Marketing, David Kirk to get their opinions on recent AV developments in 2015, what they’re excited for in 2016 and where they think Pro AV in headed in the future. Here’s a summary of what I learned.
How has Pro AV grown in recent years?
Dave: “The changes in the industry over the last couple of years have been really remarkable. We are now at a point where the mechanics of getting video streaming and recording to work in “real world situations” is no longer an obstacle that consumes a huge amount of time and effort. The individual pieces (cameras, encoders, streaming servers, CDNs, STBs, and other user devices) all work quite well together with much less effort. The ecosystem has come together to provide a very practical toolset.”
Mike: “Until recently, video distribution and consumption problems were among the biggest challenges facing the streaming industry. However with on the fly multi-device transcoding and established content distribution networks, it’s simple to reach viewers with live and on-demand video no matter their location or viewing device.”
Dave and Mike both agree that recent developments in AV have made streaming and recording easier from a technical standpoint and have even synthesized these technical ideals into Epiphan’s flagship streaming/recording live production mixer, Pearl. But what’s the next step? What do these developments mean for 2016?
What are your predictions for Pro AV in 2016 and beyond?
The prediction shared by both Mike and Dave is that in 2016 and beyond we’ll see much of the focus shift from the practical AV toolset developed in previous years (i.e. cameras, encoders, CDNs) to adapting these tools for mainstream use. The number of people using these tools in the past has been limited by the tools’ complexity, cost and lack of reliability (as a solution), but this constraint is changing at a rapid pace.
Dave: “High-end professional solutions used to produce larger events will always have a place in upscale, big-budget production, and the individuals responsible for streaming/recording these events can justify the associated costs and expertise of such solutions. However in 2016 I think we’ll see event production at a much smaller cost, both in terms of equipment and manpower, while maintaining reasonably high production value.”
Automation will be a big part of this effort to drastically reduce the cost and increase the success rate of recording and live streaming events.
Mike: “Live production solutions will increasingly become more automated. Automation in live production means solutions that self-produce, act as local content aggregators and select the best possible settings for streaming/recording with little to no input from the user. This kind of technical freedom will eliminate the expertise and costs associated with camera operators and video editors, thereby reducing resources required and helping to streamline the streaming/recording production.”
Another trend Mike sees is increased uplink bandwidth available at conference centers, allowing cloud-based post-production solutions to emerge.
Mike: “Cloud-based technology will allow more and more of the broadcasting workflow to move into the cloud, removing previous post-production barriers of computer processing power, security, storage and Internet access while also offering inexpensive post-production editing options. Instead of transitioning to each successive generation of broadcast hardware, users will be moving to cloud-based alternatives instead.”
In short, Pro AV in 2016 and beyond will bring significantly easier and more cost-efficient options for users to virtualize live events with professional results by greatly diminishing the technical and resource-heavy barriers to high-quality content creation.
What are you excited about for Pro AV in 2016?
Dave and Mike agree yet again: bringing top-quality content creation abilities to the mainstream allows smaller scale events the freedom and capabilities to produce at a level that mirrors the quality and production value seen only in significantly larger live events, such as professional conferences or sporting events. When we can easily and reliably produce an event which today takes at least 3-4 people or more (cameramen, audio/video engineer, network specialist) with 1 person (or none!) then we’ll see a very rapid explosion in the number and type of events which can be recorded, streamed and shared.
2016 should prove to be an exciting year indeed for Pro AV!