Increase in video consumption and independent video creation
The proliferation of new media, coupled with the launch and growth of third party streaming applications from Google and Facebook, has resulted in significantly higher content generation, engagement, reach and measurability (via likes, follows, shares and comments).
Newer online platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have rapidly increased their commissioning of original content as opposed to re-transmitting programmes previously aired on the traditional networks. This has led to the expansion of independent production companies set up to produce content for those networks and those production companies purchasing or renting equipment to do so.
Free streaming platforms such as Facebook Live and YouTube Live allow content creators in the field (independent and traditional broadcasters) to stream live and publish content on mobile devices. Vitec provides a wide range of mobile production equipment (e.g. Manfrotto monopods and Litepanels portable lights) while Teradek’s Live:Air production suite offers a comprehensive video mixer for iOS devices.
High definition transition, Virtual Reality and 360-degree video
4K resolution adoption has increased rapidly with the Rio 2016 Olympics and other sporting events mostly shot and broadcast in 4K Ultra HD, and Netflix and Amazon Prime offering 4K Ultra HD streaming services. While adoption is growing, with most major television and monitor manufacturers creating products with HDR and 4K support at affordable prices, it is still not yet mainstream. However, this has resulted in studios being upgraded, camera replacement cycles shortening and increased demand for our products. Worldwide, even higher resolutions have been launched, for example, Japan’s pioneering public broadcaster NHK’s world first 8K broadcast.
360-degree video streaming and Virtual Reality (“VR”) applications are expanding rapidly, with many television shows offering “second screen” content online. The industry is supported by investments from companies like Facebook (Oculus), HTC (Vive), Samsung (Gear VR), Sony (PlayStation VR) as well as platforms such as YouTube 360. Vitec has developed ground breaking products in this area, with, for example, Teradek’s award winning Sphere VR which converts the flat, rectangular views from multiple cameras into an immersive, virtual, 360-degree world, and streams that wirelessly to tablets, phones and the web.
Broadcasters’ capital expenditure
Broadcasters’ ability and willingness to incur capital expenditure on the construction or refurbishment of studios depends partly on their financial performance. Those broadcasters funded by subscription income have performed well and expanded with new operations globally. Those broadcasters reliant on advertising expenditure continue to invest in their capabilities but tend to be more susceptible to macroeconomic conditions.
Vitec’s ability to offer products that reduce the capital expenditure requirements of broadcasters and in turn reduce their investment risk, is increasingly attractive, notably through savings offered by our lower cost robotic heads (e.g. Vinten Vantage) and Litepanels LED lighting solutions. The savings and efficiencies offered by LED lighting compared with traditional lighting are significant. There is also a focus on mobile journalism and portable solutions with more bonded cellular broadcasts using products such as Teradek’s Bond. It is not enough to simply create content for broadcast; content must also be made for online audiences, whether that is live streamed or uploaded as “second screen” content.
Wireless transmission of data
We see accelerating growth in the use of wireless devices to transmit data and images on “connected devices”, especially through WiFi. The cost-effectiveness, range and quality of video data encoders, decoders and related components allows users to monitor and transmit at increasingly lower costs. Vitec products, including Litepanels’ use of Bluetooth for remote lighting management, Teradek’s wireless decoders and Manfrotto’s Digital Director, are all evidence of our innovation in new markets and technologies.
Video for enterprises
There is a growing demand for high quality video being produced by a variety of non-broadcast enterprises. This includes:
» Fortune 1000 businesses wanting to capture and disseminate corporate messages internally, as well as training videos and new product introductions
» Large religious institutions increasingly using video to connect with congregations
» Public addresses and streaming of official meetings, court proceedings and government sessions
» Medical institutions wanting to record healthcare procedures with high quality video
These customers need to light their content, use teleprompters to better tell their story, deploy stable supports to hold and use their cameras, equipment to hold their lights and even backgrounds for their videos. Vitec has built a dedicated team (“VitecEV”) to focus on this market segment, bringing innovative solutions and services to help customers adopt, deploy and increase their use of video.