4K, versioning, and file-based operational efficiency (new podcast interview)

MC talks about 4K, versioning, and industry trends in this exclusive interview with Dan Addy, Founder and Managing Director of DTT Broadcast.

MC's podcast interview


Dan Addy: People are buying 4K TV’s just because that’s what everyone else is doing and that’s what the marketing tells them to do. If you go into a Currys PC World these days, you’d struggle to find anything but a 4K TV on sale at the moment. Just standard HD. We purchased a new TV about a year ago and it wasn’t 4K, and the guy found it strange that we weren’t buying the 4K TV, one of the few that was sort of left on the shelf there, but it had much more capability in other areas than this marketing thing of 4K.


MC Patel:  

Yeah. If you ask me as a TV guy, when would I buy a 4K TV? Probably in two years time.


Dan Addy:  

When there’s enough content to mean it’s going to make a difference, yeah.


MC Patel: Now, what is interesting though is there is a bit of competition if you talk about drivers. For example, Netflix do 4K and Amazon do 4K, and BT stole a march on everyone by doing 4K sports. So, Sky went into 4K sports and recently we’ve been working with them because they’re doing 4K file base delivery. They’re now really looking at content on 4K.


Now, a lot of modern stuff is shot at high resolution anyway so the HD to 4K transition may not be as hard as it would appear from a content production point of view. By this I mean not live content, I mean for productions and movies and things get shot at very high resolution and you could deliver that to any resolution, the camera’s and everything are available. So, that may happen, but we have huge infrastructure issues to resolve from the broadcast point of view that people like Netflix don’t. They put up a few more servers and can deliver whatever they want.


If you go round BBC or some big installation like that, there’s massive infrastructure and they would have to set up a pocket of 4K delivery. Again, for me I think the changes will happen but will the world rapidly move to 4K, rapidly being 50%, 60% of capacity? No, that’s going to take 10 years or more. There are still people in the world transmitting SD…

Dan Addy: Yeah. Who’s working who here? Is it the tail wagging the dog or is the dog wagging the tail? Is it the consumer that’s driving all of this change? Is it the broadcasters? Is it the innovation? What is it in your … What is it that is sort of driving us in this direction that we seem to be heading in?
MC Patel: It’s a difficult question. I think everyone is to a certain extent. I don’t think the consumer is driving it. The last time I spoke to anybody who would be a regular Joe Blogs consumer, he didn’t say I’m dying to have 8K or HDR.  I think we exaggerate this when we say consumers are asking for this. I think we have two issues as your drivers. The first one is the TV set manufacturers have run out of ideas on how to sell a TV, which is just HD. We could have much better experience if we invested in 50 frames or 100 frames a second recording and transmission than 4K.

Operational efficiency with Engine from Emotion Systems

Dan Addy: Let’s talk a little bit about operational efficiency if we could because I think one of the big area of focus at the moment is talking about technological innovation as it pertains to operational innovation and operational efficiency which one could argue then talks about business benefit and really trying to understand what all of that means bringing it together. What’s your perspective on that and what do you believe businesses whether it’s the tech companies, the supply chain, the service providers or the broadcasters themselves? What are the key considerations in that regard?
MC Patel: The key consideration is we’ve gone from … let’s look at it this way. Versioning is a good way to think about it. We’ve gone from a single point … well, the material was sourced in a standard and delivered in the same standard broadly speaking, right?
Dan Addy: Yeah.
MC Patel: What’s happened now is the material may be sourced from different standards, not that many but you could say there’s still SD archives, there’s HD content coming in, there’s 4K content coming in and then you may need to deliver it for SD, HD, 4K and for online. The delivery options have gone up and in our case, we do a lot of audio, do we deliver stereo? Do we deliver 5.1? Do we deliver both? So there’s a lot of versioning that needs to be done…

MC and Dan discuss what’s driving technological change in the broadcast industry, how it’s adding value for consumers, and more in the full interview here:

exclusive interview with Dan Addy

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