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Wi-Fi 6 and 5G Will Revolutionize Production in 2020

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It should surprise nobody that the adoption of video-over-IP technology significantly accelerated in 2019. The ongoing maturation of technologies including NDI and SMPTE 2110 has opened the floodgates to widespread deployments, aided by conversion solutions like our Pro Convert products that ease the transition. But as tremendous as these strides have been, we expect the use of IP-based transport in production workflows will be even further catalyzed in 2020 by significant advances in wireless communication technologies.

While designed for different environments, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and 5G both promise higher throughput and lower latency that may further drive the use of video-over-IP technologies by freeing them from wired network infrastructures. While initial rollouts of these technologies may not yet deliver on their full potential, they are still major steps forward. More important than pure speed gains, Wi-Fi 6 also offers far greater efficiency than earlier standards when many devices are moving data on the same network (for example, multiple cameras feeding a production switcher over IP), making Wi-Fi more viable for real-world production applications.

The flexibility of untethering their production equipment from wired connections will provide even greater motivation for customers who have not yet adopted IP. We should see emerging solutions that enable users to reliably take advantage of these wireless innovations in their workflows.

Of course, the impact of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G won’t be only on the creation end of the media chain; they will have an even broader impact on content consumption. With in-home Wi-Fi and mobile network throughput no longer facing bottlenecks, audience demand for 4K content with HDR is bound to escalate. Full 4K HDR production will start becoming the norm in the streaming industry, powered by the latest achievements in CPU and GPU technology and new tools that continue to make 4K production increasingly cost-effective.


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