Future Vision: DTG Summit 2020 was always going to be just that bit different. A virtual stage where Richard Lindsay-Davies, CEO of the DTG, was permanently ready with a welcome, online exhibitors, and a chat room where you could have some conference chat, even if you did have to make your own coffee.
It was no surprise that Covid-19, and how the industry reacted to it, was a regular theme. So too the demands of the viewer for increased personalisation, and while this has been a familiar topic from the early days of PowerPoint, the opportunities to the viewer are at a new level.
The keynote panel, TV’s Covid Bounce, suggested SVOD (subscription-video-on-demand) would continue to grow, not least because the plethora of new streaming launches. Streaming really came into its own during the pandemic, but audience patterns only really altered at the height of the crisis, before returning to something closer to normality. However, there are signs of a shift in viewing brought about by the pandemic that may bring about some lasting change. Asked whether the current economic crisis would eventually hit the sector, chair Guy Bisson, Executive Director, Ampere Analysis, said based on previous experience, pay-TV would take an-18 month lag before any impact.
There was broadcast reaction too. Faz Aftab, Director of Platform Distribution, ITV, said there were constraints on the production of certain types of content, but landmark shows Britain’s Got Talent and I’m a Celebrity were “investments” that are now back in production.
In TV Sport Innovation, Gordon Roxburgh, Technical Manager, Sky Sports spoke about the challenges of producing 100 games in 40 days, as part of the Premier League’s Project Restart, and how newly adopted practices developed around the Sky Virtual Production Suite allowed staff to work from home.
Initially, with no live sport to show, Sky created the Watchalong, bringing in sporting personalities to view some of the most exciting sporting events of recent times.
As always, there was technical innovation; BT Sport capturing events at the highest possible quality and then distributing from its BT Sport Ultimate channel in Ultra HD and downscaling from there. In Italy, a move on terrestrial television to the DVB-I broadcast and broadband hybrid could also open the door to a DTT ultra HD service.
In audio too, with news of the use of Dolby’s AC-4 audio codec in use at Roland Garos, three years after it made its first appearance at the tennis tournament.
TV historian Dan Snow told us how he launched his History Hit on demand channel. Sprinkling in historical facts with every answer we learn that while a BBC Two viewer was typically in their 60s, subscribers to History Hit were in their 30s.
Maria Rua Aguete, Senior Research Director, Media and Entertainment, OMDIA reported that amid the growth of smart speakers 19 percent of women said they would not have one of the devices at home because of concerns about security issues. They wouldn’t have been reassured by Vladislav Iliushin, IoT Lab Team Lead, Avast, who was able to demonstrate how easy it was to use smart devices to gain access to a house. Fortunately, in this case it was just an Avast server room.