Rapid Shift to IP TV Supporting 'Over the Top' Video Content Streaming

By Scot Petersen  |  Posted 2015-04-20 Print this article Print
IP Television

Broadcasting experts at the show said all broadcasting will be IP-based within the next five to 10 years. Yes, CBS, NBC, ABC and Comcast et al. will still be around, but content will be delivered by the Internet. It's happening already.

Executives from the Disney/ABC Television Group spoke at NAB about how the company is transitioning its broadcast operations to a unified IP cloud architecture using Imagine Communications, a video infrastructure and management provider.

"By leveraging evolving IP and cloud technologies, we are able to move beyond what's currently possible with traditional proprietary big iron broadcast infrastructures," Disney/ABC Television Group Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Vince Roberts said.

By invoking the big-iron metaphor, the IP trend in broadcasting is mirroring what has been happening in enterprise IT for the past generation, moving to standards-based protocols running on commodity hardware.

For all of the innovation going on, the NAB community has been historically known for being a little stodgy and set in its ways, a fact acknowledged by NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith in his opening keynote. He recalled his first keynote as head of NAB five years ago: "Back then, our critics were writing us off as yesterday's technology, foreseeing a diminished future for radio and TV."

Now, he said, broadcast radio and television are more important today than ever because broadcasters now have a better understanding of "peoples' consumption of content—where they're getting it and what they're getting."

So, to refer to another famous phrase, it's about the content, stupid. And the viewers are now in charge. The forward evolution in technology has ways of breaking barriers between the information (entertainment, news, sports, movies, etc.) and the consumer of that information. Broadcasting is no longer about "programming," where viewers will couch-lock through the CBS Sunday night lineup. I now watch most of my TV on my phone, streaming what's been recorded on my DVR at home. It's a brave new world.

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. He has an extensive background in the technology field. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture, at TechTarget. Before that, he was the director, Editorial Operations, at Ziff Davis Enterprise. While at Ziff Davis Media, he was a writer and editor at eWEEK. No investment advice is offered in his blog. All duties are disclaimed. Scot works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.



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