After another successful IBC edition here’s what we witnessed. The focus this year has been mostly drawn towards stepping up the virtual reality experience online, AI as a support tool for more immersive experiences, and making the OTT world more accessible, complete and smarter.
During this year’s IBC show, we have seen online video platforms ensuring that we will be seeing more VR content and at higher resolutions very soon. Aside from the strong improvement in hardware and available content, the great effort to boost live content is impressive. Major industry players have made strong claims about their ability to stream Live 4K content in VR to offer the greatest experience possible. Although still in early works, some exhibitors even pushed the frontier to 8K Live VR content. Even though the VR hype has been ongoing over the last two years, we were able to confirm that the video industry is doing everything in its power to keep the hype alive and the results show promise. As mentioned by Sky VR’s Technical director Richard Mills: “Things are getting better. And 360 is totally underestimated and super-interesting.” QoE was naturally at the core of the discussions as that was one of the main concerns in the audience when finding out about to those strong promises. Online video providers of VR and AR content were strongly aware of the need for using analytics to ensure the promised experienced. As stressed by Tony Mugavero CEO of Littlestar one of the most popular VR/AR OTTs in the market: “User analytics are a key component of the experience”.
AI & Machine Learning
For quite some time, here at NPAW we have been working hard in the field of machine learning for better AI in online video monitoring, to give YOUBORA a head start. The industry is now catching up and not only did we all get to see the ginormous Alexa by Hall 14, we also looked at how Google was pushing for machine learning to bring more accurate and stronger AI. Every day the industry grows smarter thanks to the growing amount of adopters of online services, the increasing rate at which content creators upload content and the need for differentiation of all online video providers. It has pushed the industry to start drawing its focus towards AI powered by machine learning. The purpose of AI at the show was mostly oriented towards monitorization of services to ensure high standards of quality and a better experience for users.
Having your online channel has been made possible since the early Youtube days, but how about having your own OTT platform? That possibility is now a reality. Vimeo and other exhibitors have now made it a possibility and at a very little cost. Everything is taken care of, content creators now have the tools that were until now exclusive to corporations. Content providers are given the possibility to use Vimeo’s player, create and customize a platform as well as building their own custom app to turn their new channel into a legitimate OTT platform. The OTT family is about to get much bigger and richer.
UHD 4K content has kept on being relevant this year as more OTTs and broadcasters are starting to offer it, but their catalog is still limited and wide-scale adoption is still slowly ongoing. For now, the UHD 4K success is limited by the rate of adoption, 8K is already a reality but it will not hit the masses for a while. Therefore as most adoption processes are slow, standard HD has not been put aside, instead, it has been linked to HDR (High Dynamic Range). The enhancement from HDR is sometimes even more noticeable than the jump from 1080p to 4K and more affordable. HDR codecs were strongly represented at IBC.
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Just another thing to think about from us here at NPAW.
Joaquin De Miguel on September 22nd 2017
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