The new year is a time to ponder the past and muse about the future. In the past, nearly each technical device needed to produce broadcast TV cost more than building a new house, was as huge as it was heavy, and made pictures nobody would accept today. About 20 years ago, many analog TV stations were launching their DTV stations. Today, US TV stations are launching ATSC 3.0. Can you imagine what TV broadcasters will be doing in 2042?
Planning for any kind of live TV broadcasting starts with a ‘what-if?’ list. What if the power source fails? What if a key production person gets sick or hurt? What if broadband internet access becomes unstable? What are the chances for each ‘what-if?’ and what back-up alternatives fit the budget? The list should be as lengthy as it is easy to edit.
Most live remote outside broadcasts are thoroughly planned by producers and directors who are often too busy to consider potential equipment problems. Technology is an engineering responsibility. Engineers must be ready for any circumstances that threaten to take the show off-script or off-air, from dead wireless mic batteries to unexpected foul weather. In live TV, anything can happen and probably will, usually at the worst possible time.
As company mergers, acquisitions and extensive rights management agreements have become part of the new media landscape, it has created large multi-national conglomerates that span the globe. This in turn has revealed the need for IT networking technology and complex software orchestration that tie all of the disparate locations together and increase productivity across the company.
The Cloud is the future of live TV production.
In an era of rising programming costs, media companies are looking for ways to reduce production budgets, through both live remote control operations leveraging the Cloud and the public Internet as well as the use of less expensive consumer-level technology.