Post NAB 2019

Blog Post by Charlie Kraus

April 2019

Limelight Realtime Streaming momentum continued from IBC 2018 at NAB 2019 this month- including extensive interest in demos of our sub-second latency live video streaming solution. The demonstration of sub-second latency included live streaming from the Limelight booth to CDN PoPs in Los Angeles and Paris, France, and displaying the returning streams. Visitors could interact with the camera and see themselves on the monitor in realtime.






Another popular demonstration showed viewer interaction with video streams using auto racing footage from iRacing. The below screen shot highlights the ability to choose between multiple camera views, live chat, and in-event betting, that are made possible by the low-latency streaming and data sharing capability of Realtime Streaming.




In addition Limelight Realtime Streaming was awarded a 2019 NAB Show Product of the Year Award AND The Best of Show Award!




Limelight also announced new features to its Video Delivery Services, including streamlining the process of protecting premium online video content with forensic watermarking at the edge, and the availability of server-side ad insertion capabilities through the Adsparx Dynamic Ad Insertion platform. To learn more about these new capabilities, read the Limelight Networks Features Sub-Second Global Live Video Streaming and New Online Video Innovations at NAB 2019 press release.


At NAB there were many significant technologies that will positively impact the future of digital entertainment on display. Reinforcing the findings in our recent State of Online Gaming - 2019 Report about the popularity of Esports, the NAB Show introduced the “Esports Experience,” a new exhibit floor destination that included live gaming where attendees could watch professional gaming teams or play themselves. Another new destination called “In-Vehicle Experience” featured live demonstrations showcasing opportunities related to connected vehicles, including media display options, voice-activation technology, audio design and HD radio, for consumer engagement.


The top three buzzworthy topics at this year’s show included 5G mobile service, 8K TV, and Next-Gen TV.


5G mobile communications, promises to deliver much higher bandwidth than 4G – about 20X faster. It’s early in the rollout, with wireless carriers beginning to tout 5G efforts. AT&T is already pushing its 5G networks in TV ads with 5G service available in a dozen cities. As 5G services come online, and 5G phones appear during this year, keep in mind this is the early stages of the transition to a new networking standard. But the benefits will start being realized - uploading photos and videos will be significantly faster versus what we have today. As mobile users move to 5G, it will mean less congestion for those on LTE. The faster speeds and lower latency of 5G could impact some of the need for edge compute in certain use cases. To learn more about 5G, the article What is 5G? is an excellent source.


Even though 4K content is still not widely available, earlier this year major TV manufacturers showed 8K TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show, and at NAB, several entertainment tech manufacturers including Sony, Blackmagic and Avid were talking about 8K capabilities. The first public broadcaster to produce 8K content is NHK Japan, who launched their 8K broadcasting service at the end of 2018, and currently airs 12 hours of 8K content daily. They are also planning 8K coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But in most of the rest of the world there is very little 8K content available and major streamers like Netflix are concentrating on 4K. Related to both 4K and 8K, many industry folks feel that this year High Dynamic Range (HDR) will become a reality.


While the above technologies are on a path to adoption, Next-Gen TV (known as ATSC 3.0) broad success is less certain. One of the most anticipated capabilities is the ability of supported mobile devices to receive over-the-air TV signals without using a cell service or data plan. Available content could include TV series, news and live sports. But there isn’t universal support from tech companies, Apple being one of them, refusing to enable broadcast chips allowing next-gen TV in their devices, and it is not mandatory for broadcasters to transition to this new standard. However, ATSC 3.0 will start to roll out in the largest TV markets by the end of 2020, and aside from the issues with mobile devices, TV viewers receiving programming over-the-air today, and cord cutters will be able to watch TV for free with an HDTV antenna.


With the rapid pace of technology innovation, by NAB 2020 we should have clarity on the rollout and market adoption of these new technology advances. Stay tuned!