Looking back three years at the 2017 NAB Show, one of the notable new technology trends was the influx of artificial intelligence (AI) applications and services. Perhaps the word “appeared” is understating what happened—IBM showed up with a 12-foot diameter, supercomputer-esque display of Watson and the AI services that it (or he?) provided. Microsoft and Quantum also devoted show space to this new AI technology. The takeaway was that there were AI engines—learning machines—brains—that were hungry for video content. Few knew what the implications were at the time.
As much as technology companies would like to believe that they are serving a global market, in reality tech adoption varies widely by region. What happens in London isn’t always what happens in Toronto, much less what happens in Seoul or Mumbai. The adoption of 4K is happening much faster than it did for HD, even though 4K is pulling along other data-intensive technologies: high dynamic range (HDR), high frame rates (HFR) and 10-bit or greater color depth. Now that 4K displays are available worldwide, the question turns to 4K Ultra HD content delivery: by broadcast, by cable, by satellite, or by IP? This challenge is even greater in Asia, where content delivery varies more by locale than in other regions.