LAS VEGAS—Even though over-the-top distribution is currently generating only about 3% of broadcast industry revenue, broadcasters are aggressively moving to all-IP delivery for a host of advantages, a group of technologists and producers said on a Cisco-produced panel presentation moderated by FierceBroadcasting's Ben Munson at the NAB Show this morning.
John Canning, chairman of the Producers Guild of America’s New Media Council, said the flexibility of live IP-only delivery will give broadcasters the ability to quickly and flexibly deliver different types of content.
“It’s not just a live IP broadcast—we can integrate all sorts of [interactive elements] on the fly, like voting mechanisms, for example,” Canning said. “It’s about what can we layer in when we want these extra elements and not have to worry about what’s available in the field.”
Jim Blakley, general manager of visual cloud computing for Intel, said all IP deliver will open up a range of monetization possibilities for broadcasters, many of which aren’t even imagined now.
“Once you get to a point of all IP and virtualization, and move to a cloud-based model, you change your business model from hardware centric to software centric model, and you create new work flows and models that are monetized in entirely different ways," he said.
Meanwhile, Presidio VP George Santa noted that virtualized IP environments will enable broadcasters to experiment more quickly and cheaply.
“With a virtual environment, you can spin things up in a minute,” Santa said.
Touching on a broad range of technology topics relevant to broadcasters, the panel was in agreement that virtual reality is years away from ubiquitous adoption, with network technology and consumer habits needing to take quantum leaps before broader usage for VR entertainment occurs.
“The ergonomics of VR right now just don’t work for mass consumer,” Blakley said, noting that other sectors, such as the medicine, are better poised than entertainment to use virtual reality effectively right now.
“We’re not going to be leaping to VR from where we are today,” added Dave Ward, Cisco’s CTO of engineering and chief architect.