Posted on July 7, 2015 in ATSC News
At the 2015 ATSC Broadcast TV Conference, ATSC board member Brett Jenkins brought together three bright lights in the TV research sphere for an overview of how consumer behavior will shape the TV of tomorrow.
“Certainly television is not dead. It’s changing. And there are ways in which we need to think differently about what television is, what the content is, the pipes that it uses and the devices that it reaches in order to really secure the future. And hopefully that will help inform all of us as we go about putting together ATSC 3.0,” said panel moderator Jenkins, who serves as Media General’s chief technology officer.
At the forum, Will Law, the Chief Architect of Media Cloud Engineering for Akamai Technologies, pointed out that the nation’s Internet infrastructure is evolving to accommodate more bandwidth-hungry technologies like 4K Ultra HDTV.
“Peak connection speed is interesting. The peak is an indication of the theoretical throughput available in your location when it’s not congested. In the U.S., that’s going right up to 50 megabits per second, so we’ve been doing a great job in this country – especially over the last five years. The rate of growth of throughput has really risen dramatically, and this is what’s allowing video content delivery to become far more successful as a business.”
Law was also pleased to learn that ATSC 3.0 will essentially deliver a wireless IP network to American homes. “Imagine if you could broadcast Apple’s iOS update – it’s a 1GB file – that goes out to 50 million people at the same time. It’s the perfect candidate for a broadcast solution. So I hope we can work together on solutions like that. We are very interested in leveraging broadcast infrastructure to send files to people.”
“The definition of television is changing… People say ‘I’m watching TV’ on a tablet and a smartphone … It’s beyond just the flat thing on the wall.” – Laura Clark, Senior VP, Frank N. Magid Associates
And while the method of receiving TV is evolving, the product itself – the programming – is still in very high demand. That’s according to panelist Laura Clark, a Senior VP at Frank N. Magid Associates. “What we do, what we make, especially in the local broadcast industry has never been in greater demand. And there have never been more ways to get to people.”
Clark said her firm also tracks device adoption, showing that “we’re seeing the number of televisions in the house going down, but the number of screens going up.” Over time, the average household has actually seen the number of TV sets available at home drop by one.
“The definition of television is changing. We see it in our research. When we ask people what are you watching, they say ‘I’m watching TV.’ But they think of ‘watching TV’ on a tablet and a smartphone because it’s a video product. It’s beyond just the flat thing on the wall,” Clark said.
Still, 4K Ultra High-Definition TV is driving significant consumer interest for large-screen displays, according to Steve Koenig, the director of industry analysis for the Consumer Electronics Association.
“As we look forward at CEA to our holiday research, we expect 4K Ultra HD, which was a very big storyline in the previous year, to be a very big theme this holiday season and one of those technologies that’s going to drive people into the stores.”
Koenig is also tracking another trend: how online services serve up choices that are similar to programs being watched by the viewer.
“Consumers today are very, very familiar with recommendation engines – just think about Amazon and the suggestions made to buyers. Consumers like this and they expect it. Think about Netflix and what happens when you log on. This is becoming ‘table stakes’ in the content industry and in the electronics industry as well,” Koenig said.
Posted in ATSC News
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The Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc., is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards and recommended practices for digital terrestrial broadcasting. ATSC member organizations represent the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries. ATSC also develops digital terrestrial broadcasting implementation strategies and supports educational activities on ATSC standards.