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Live Streaming Conferences

Las Vegas at night

NAB 2018: The Live Streamer’s Recap

The NAB Show is the largest event focused on the intersection of technology, media, and entertainment. This post covers the trends that we saw at the 2018 show. It's part of our series on live streaming conferences.

This year, BoxCast attended the show and learned some new insights into what trends are popular within the industry. This post is your guide to all of the trends related to live streaming and how they are changing the state of the industry.

Trends From The Show

HEVC + 4K

With the recent technology known as H.265 (HEVC - High Efficiency Video Coding) emerging to improve video quality across the industry, there was a lot of buzz around HEVC.

HEVC allows for further reduced file size, and therefore reduced required bandwidth, of your live video streams. Unlike H.264 macroblocks, H.265 processes information in what’s called Coding Tree Units (CTUs). Whereas macroblocks can span 4x4 to 16x16 block sizes, CTUs can process as many as 64x64 blocks, giving it the ability to compress information more efficiently. This means that HEVC requires more advanced hardware, such as the BoxCaster Pro, to be able to compress the data.

This also enables the streaming of 4K video over common network speeds.

Because H.265 compresses your data so much more efficiently, using it as your video compression tool will drop your bandwidth and storage requirements by roughly 50%.

At NAB, we learned a lot about how broadcasters are incorporating HEVC compression on their streams capable of 4K and how manufacturers are developing more advanced hardware to meet the changing needs of the industry.

OTT

Another trend we heard a lot about is OTT, or “over the top” content. OTT content can be defined as a media distribution practice that allows a streaming content provider to sell audio, video, and other media services directly to the consumer over the internet via streaming media as a standalone product, bypassing telecommunications, cable or broadcast television service providers that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content. This content is delivered over the internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator in control of the distribution of the content.

OTT Television, or internet tv/streaming tv is the most popular type. Consumers are able to access this content using their phones, computers, and televisions.

Within the past few years, this type of content is becoming increasingly popular. At NAB, we witnessed how OTT is taking over the industry and what this means for the future of broadcasting and live streaming.

NDI

NDI stands for Network Device Interface, which is a new way of connecting video cameras and sources across the existing network and utilizing the power of ethernet. NDI allows for all devices, not just what is physically plugged into the SDI or HDMI connections, to view and access content. This means that it's easier now more than ever to access your sources on the network and there is now the ability to use more sources for live production. 

The transition to NDI will help to simplify the live production process and allow for entirely new workflows. Expect to hear more about this in the future. We have a feeling NDI will be sticking around and paving a new path for live production,

12G SDI

While SDI has been the standard for awhile, with 4K and UHD becoming more much relevant video formats for broadcasting, there now is a requirement for four times the bandwidth of HD, which is where 12G SDI comes into play. 12G is an SDI standard developed to support higher quality video such as 4Kp60. 12G SDI supports greater resolutions and frame rates, while providing four times the bandwidth of HD, making it ideal for 4Kp60 format. 

Since industry facilities are still built on 3G SDI Standards and not many devices have 12G inputs yet, we saw a lot of manufacturers showcasing 12G SDI enabled products. The industry will start to catch up with this trend by introducing more devices throughout the entire live production workflow that will be compatible with 12G SDI Standard. 

Final Thoughts + Further Reading

There’s no doubt that NAB 2018 was a show to remember! The industry always displays the latest and greatest at this show and attending is a great way to gather insights into the entire ecosystem of live streaming.

Here's some further reading you might find interesting:

What Does 4K Actually Mean?

HEVC (H.265) Vs. AVC (H.264) - What’s The Difference?

Upload Speeds for 4K Live Streaming