Back in the fall of 2020, several months after private equity firm Black Dragon Capital completed its acquisition of Grass Valley, it became apparent to the company’s management team that it had an unpolished jewel in the GV portfolio that needed attention. Given the virtualization changes, cost cutting and high demand for new content occurring within the industry, customers who served as beta testers told them, “this AMPP thing is going to change the industry.”
For large media companies, especially those with global exclusive sports and entertainment rights that are delivered around the world simultaneously, the new frontier is streaming millions (and sometimes billions of viewers) of live events over an IP infrastructure. Or more specifically, a series of tightly linked cloud services that process media quickly and ultimately span the world.
Although latency and resource coordination continue to challenge those considering cloud-based remote live production, the distributed architecture model is steadily gaining traction as a cost-effective alternate to hardware-based on-premise projects. To date this IT-centric architecture has not been deployed for high-profile productions like the Super Bowl or World Cup, but remote IP-video contribution, production and distribution has allowed second-tier sporting events to be televised globally whereas they might not be - due to cost and fully remote access - using traditional production methods.
New, in-cloud, pay-per-use business models offer new advantages to occasional REMI, field reporting, remote event production and similar content producers and distributors with a better business model to remain competitive and profitable without huge ongoing capital investments.
The pressure to extract more revenue from ever shrinking budgets, due to expensive content rights contracts, is causing Broadcasters to re-evaluate—and in many cases reduce—how they spend their money on production tools and infrastructure. Recognizing this, live production technology providers like Grass Valley are getting “creative” in how they sell their products and cloud-native systems.
With its core business in live sports production, Grass Valley has seen its revenue contract significantly over the past eight months but with a new integrated software-defined product roadmap, it looks to bounce back while “reducing the pain” of migrating to IP. This insight, and more, was revealed during a virtual press conference presented by company management in early October.
With each new remote production and IT-centric infrastructure implementation, camera manufacturers are learning more and more about what it takes for a camera to operate seamlessly on an all-IP network. With the right design, production companies can send less equipment to live events and camera operators can work from anywhere—even those with limited skills.
To address the increasing consumer demand for exceptional quality content, many media professionals are implementing HDR solutions into their workflows, utilizing image sensors and cameras that inherently support wider density and color ranges. HDR (High Dynamic Range) provides viewers with enhanced contrast and increased brightness and more vibrant color, resulting in a far superior image when compared to current standard HD and 4K UHD signals.