SVG Summit: Remote Production Leaders Sound Off on IP, 4K, and Impact of Cord-Cutting

One of the annual highlights of the SVG Summit each December is the The State of the Remote Production Industry” panel in which leaders from major mobile-unit providers take the stage to address the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities for the business. From 4K to IP to at-home production and broadcasters’ ever-increasing demands for efficiency and cost-cutting, leaders from CTV Outside Broadcasts, Dome Productions, Game Creek Video, Mobile TV Group, and NEP sounded off on today remote production industry headlines.

Sports broadcasters are entering new territory in recent years, as the loss of subscribers due to cord-cutting and escalating rights costs have forced these organizations to find new efficiencies. As a result, many are asking mobile-unit providers for more cost-efficient solutions and demanding bottom-line-friendly event production budgets. At the same time, the largest shows are only getting bigger and more tech-heavy. Pat Sullivan, Game Creek Video, President/Founder, discusses how his company is addressing these challenges and opportunities.

 

European OB companies are blazing the trail in live 4K sports production with a total of 15 4K mobile units on the road by next year. In addition, most major sports rights packages now require a 4K mobile unit as part of the deal when OB providers are bidding on new contracts. Barry Johnstone, CTV Outside Broadcasts, Managing Director, discusses the thriving 4K business in Europe.

 

Dome Production was a true 4K pioneer in North America, becoming the first remote production provider on the continent to deliver a full package of events with NHL and Toronto Blue Jays games in Canada. They have continued down the 4K path – serving their co-owners Rogers and Bell Media, which both offer 4K-to-the-home services – launching additional 4K mobile units and completing dozens of live 4K productions. Mary Ellen Carlyle, Dome Productions, SVP and GM, discusses Dome’s achievements and future roadmap when it comes to HDR.

 

Much of the discussion in broadcast technology over the past three years has been focused on the move to IP and mobile-unit providers are no different. Several truck companies have rolled out units built around IP routers, including Game Creek Video and NEP. However, a multitude of challenges remain in reaching a full end-to-end IP truck model. Pat Sullivan, Game Creek Video, President/Founder and Mike Werteen, NEP, Co-President, U.S. Mobile Units discuss their organizations IP truck plans and how it impacts live-sports production.

 

While the majority of discussion when it comes to next-gen 4K infrastructure has centered on IP, 12GBps SDI over coax remains a viable option for many – especially for 4K trucks working smaller-sized shows. Earlier this year several remote production leaders signed an open letter to broadcast manufacturers asking for more 12G-SDI-enabled equipment – signaling a growing sentiment throughout the industry. Philip Garvin, Mobile TV Group, President/Founder/Co-Owner, who is one of the most vocal proponents discussed his plans to build a 12G-SDI 4K truck and also addressed the need for venues to install more substantial fiber infrastructure to serve fiber-based cameras and mobile units.

 

Perhaps the most impactful trend in the remote production market over the past two years has been the rise of “at-home” production – also known as REMI (remote integration) or home-run production. Mobile unit leaders from CTV Outside Broadcasts, Game Creek Video, Mobile TV Group, and NEP discuss the influence at-home has had on their business and how they plan to accommodate it in the future.

For more video coverage from the 2016 SVG Summit and the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, visit SVG On Demand.

SVG Summit Remote Production Leaders

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