Making predictions for 2021 seems rather trite after what we all experienced in 2020. Rarely before has it been driven home so forcefully that everything can change in an instant across the entire world.
Before looking towards the future, everyone involved in streaming media should take pride in the fact that their past efforts – not just in the last year, but more than two decades – play an important role in helping many people connect, communicate, and cope during the pandemic. From visionaries who conceived of key technologies years ago; to product vendors who made those foundations practical and accessible for users; to producers and distributors who have used these advances to share their message – be proud of your accomplishments in making the past year just a little bit more tolerable for many people.
Looking at 2021, even with a vaccine around the corner, the increased adoption of streaming is here to stay. Being so immersed in the technology ourselves, it is easy to forget that there were many people still reluctant to start streaming, both on the content creation side and as a primary viewing platform. Some thought it was too complicated, some didn't consider it reliable enough, and others simply didn't invest the time, effort, or money yet because they hadn't needed to. The pandemic forced many of them to try streaming, and now that they're comfortable with it, they're likely to stick with it.
On the production side, the pandemic similarly accelerated the transition from legacy infrastructures to IP-based workflows. Solutions that support streaming and media-over-IP protocols such as SRT, NDI, and SMPTE ST-2110 enable the flexibility, affordability, and efficiency needed for evolving remote production workflows. Even as entertainment productions eventually return to studios, we expect more will be produced remotely or in hybrid workflows now that such models have proven efficient and successful.
On the technology front, the ongoing roll-out of 5G technology will further enhance remote production capabilities, while the use of AI will continue to expand into more facets of production workflows. Solutions that blend GPU, CPU and FPGA-based processing power with AI will bring new capabilities and efficiencies to content creation.
As always, Magewell is committed to ongoing technology innovation. But as exciting as the technology is, as the past year has shown us, it’s just a means towards a bigger goal – the ability of streaming and IP-based media workflows to empower people.
CEO and CTO
Nanjing Magewell Electronics Co., Ltd