The Online Reporter has identified three important technologies that are merging to form dots in a trend line: live streaming, VR and Facebook’s video efforts.
We will be reporting and analyzing this trend in the weeks and months ahead plus continue to report on HDR, just as we have done with 4K, OTT, Wi-Fi and other technologies, until they too become widespread, accepted technologies.
Sports events: live video streaming appeal
1. Live streaming. Sports will be the biggest user and sports are the most in-demand and most profitable content of them all. Our research indicates that almost every sports league and sports team – from football to tennis – are looking at live streaming as a mainstream method for delivering content to consumers.
Sports stadiums have already started building Wi-Fi networks that will have the bandwidth needed to handle outgoing and incoming live video streams. The companies that offer live streaming to users are Facebook, Google’s YouTube, Amazon’s Twitch and Twitter’s Periscope.
2. Virtual reality. No new video technology has received as much whoop-di-do as VR – not 3D or 4K or HDR. It’s being talked about for every imaginable application – sports, gaming, action films, documentaries, selling real estate, to name a few. Most of that VR will be delivered over the Internet. Network equipment maker Arris estimates that a VR game in 720p will require 50 Mbps, and a 4K VR game will need 500 Mbps. Arris CTO Charles Cheevers said, “So maybe VR is the one [application] that drives the need for gigabit speeds, gigabit Wi-Fi and all that stuff.
Facebook: 100 million video hours a day
3. Facebook. With 433 million users, Facebook is the most used application on the Web, exceeded perhaps only by Google’s search. Facebook expects to be all video within five years. It offers videos in every format – live up and down, rental and paid, free ad-supported and user generated. Facebook’s VP for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa Nicola Mendelsohn, said, “If I was having a bet, it’d be video, video, video. If Facebook becomes all video or even almost all video, lots and lots of bandwidth will be needed to handle the video. Facebook users currently watch an average 100 million hours of video on Facebook mobile per day and its daily views have increased from 1 billion to 8 billion in the last year. Those numbers can be expected to quadruple if Facebook’s prediction is correct. One of Facebook’s biggest surprises has been its explosive growth in live video.” Mendelsohn also said Facebook Live is “a bigger, faster phenomenon” than Facebook had expected.
4K. Then there’s the 4K multiplier that’s been with us for several years now and is no longer “coming.” When the full impact of 4K hits – tens of millions of 4K TVs in homes, several hundred million 4K-capable smartphones and tablets and most all movies and TV shows in 4K, the demand for bandwidth will …
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