Full-scale IP and 4KTV adoption considerably slower than expected

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 23 June 2015

Many would be forgiven for thinking that the adoption of IP and 4KTV broadcast infrastructure were imminent if not months away but this is rather some way from the truth says research from Quantel and Snell.

The global survey of small, medium and large-scale public and private broadcast and post organisations, across more than 80 countries, claims to offer a real-world review of where the industry is going with IP and 4KTV.

105 inch CURVED UHD Tcober pic 2VThe report's headline finding for IP-based video networks was that transition will take up to 10 years to complete for majority of broadcasters. Only 19% of respondents thought that SDI routers would be completely replaced by IP within two years, 42% within five years and 27% only seeing this happen within ten years. A tiny 9% of respondents predicted that SDI will never be completely replaced. When asked if they would be using live signals over IP in 2016, a fifth said not at all, 47% somewhat and 29% extensively. Just 4% indicated that they are going fully IP with twelve months.

It was a similar story with 4KTV with three-fifths of respondents seeing it as relevant only in the future, with the majority of predictions spread across the two to five year timescale. When asked whether high frame rate (HFR) or high dynamic range (HDR) would bring the most economic benefit to respondents, 47% saw HDR as a potential revenue generator, only 22% HFR, with 31% seeing no potential benefit from either.

The survey also asked where IP and 4KTV fit in the priorities of broadcasters and what was the top feature they look for in production switchers. Of this 44% chose multi-format, multi-programme production, with 20% and 16% concerned with IP and 4K readiness respectively.

"Broadcasters and media organisations have been bombarded with 'IP and 4K now' messages over the last year," said Quantel and Snell CEO, Tim Thorsteinson commenting on the survey.

"This has led to a great deal of uncertainty, which I know our customers have fed back to us time and again. The results of our survey will go a long way to dispelling the myths and claims around IP and 4K. It clearly shows that broadcasters see these as key future concerns, but for the vast majority, a full-on infrastructure lift-out and replacement with IP and 4K is not going to happen any time soon. The survey confirms our own ongoing research among our customers - what broadcasters need are future-flexible solutions that can meet their current needs and give them a progressive path to IP and 4K adoption as dictated by their individual business needs."