Broadcast Transformation Report: The Transition to IP and Cloud-Based Broadcasting Continues
A key theme from Haivision’s newly released Broadcast Transformation Report for 2023 pertains to the broadcast industry’s transition to IP and cloud-based broadcasting. The insights from our annual survey show that IP and cloud technology is often a critical element to live broadcast production. Making the switch to IP-based broadcasting while working with limited budgets and in-house technical expertise is a tall order for the broadcast professionals we surveyed, though. Despite this, we see broadcast professionals around the world forge ahead with bold plans to introduce exciting new services and broadcast more live events with the aim of wowing their audiences by leveraging the latest video technology.
On IP and Cloud-Based Workflows
Though over half of broadcast professionals have deployed IP and cloud-based broadcast infrastructure, SDI remains widely used by 88% of respondents, based on responses from our Broadcast Transformation Survey. In fact, 39% of respondents indicated that they leverage a hybrid video infrastructure, giving maximum flexibility to leverage existing infrastructure investment while evolving to new ways of working. The industry is shifting towards ST 2110, NDI, and cloud platforms, but SDI continues to be the main video infrastructure in broadcast environments and helps deliver high picture quality in HD and 4K UHD.
Although 41% of broadcast professionals (compared to 38% last year) think that ST 2110 will have an important impact on broadcast production workflows within the next five years, we see that a quarter of respondents are currently using NDI. In fact, NDI is the most common IP-based networking technology used by a quarter of our respondents, compared to 19% for ST 2110.
Broadcast infrastructure is also often hybrid with 39% of survey participants using a combination of SDI, IP, and cloud technologies. For this reason, we think that products and solutions that support both SDI and IP technologies are important, thereby addressing today’s needs while futureproofing for tomorrow’s broadcast workflows. This then poses the question: Will the future of broadcast always be a blend of on-premise and cloud technology? We look forward to what the data says in the coming years.
Cloud adoption is widespread amongst broadcasters – 84% use at least some cloud-based technology in their mix. According to respondents, the main uses for cloud technology include encoding and transcoding, as well as streaming routing and live production, followed by media asset storage and management, and facilitating remote collaboration.
Despite most broadcasters relying on cloud technology to some degree, the percentage of broadcasters running their broadcast productions entirely in the cloud is very small. While 84% of broadcasters do use at least some cloud-based technology in their workflows, 60% rely on cloud for less than a quarter of their workflows. This indicates that on-premise operations remain critical to live video.
Among the challenges that broadcasters cite as causes for limited IP and cloud adoption include lack of IP or cloud knowledge (33%), budget (45%), and, most notably, bandwidth availability (48%). Interestingly, concerns about bandwidth availability grew by 20% from last year’s survey, which aligns with the survey responses about increasing use of HEVC and the SRT transport protocol – a topic that we cover more in the report.
From these findings, it’s clear that cloud technology has many uses for broadcast production, especially as the technology itself becomes ever more accessible thanks to the internet and SRT. However, the fact that 75% of respondents leverage hardware video encoders suggests that while some operations can be moved to the cloud, others must remain firmly at the edge.
For a complete report of our survey’s findings, download the 2023 Broadcast Transformation Report here.