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CES 2017 - Cutting Through The Noise And Rising Above The Crowd

CES 2017 - Cutting Through The Noise And Rising Above The Crowd

If you’ve been to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) recently or have read a recap, you know the drill.  4K, flying drones and things, touchscreen refrigerators.  Been there, done that.  Got the tattoo (it is Vegas, after all - and a 4K tattoo would be hilarious).  So as my sore feet, tired and rest deprived body will attest, the 50th annual CES is in the books, with more than 175,000 having coursed through Las Vegas last week.   

CES is always a lively, active, sometimes crazy scene.  Shaq with Snap Spectacles on?  Check.  HGTV’s Jonathan Scott with VR glasses on (more on that in a minute)?  Check.  At the show, it seems that everywhere you look, you are inundated by something cool/strange/innovative.  You thought walking down a sidewalk while nearly everyone around you is looking at their smartphones and encroaching ‘in your lane’?  Try giving one third of them VR goggles to wear at the same time.  That’s CES 2017.  

And video is no backseat passenger at the show, to be clear.  But as the headline implies, the important thing to do at CES and to think about afterward is where to reduce the noise level to find the innovations that are worth focusing time and effort on and rising above the crowd (a tongue in cheek reference to the endless supply of drones I seem to see at this show every year too - had to do it).  Even drones need video love too - read on.   

Video has a permanent seat at the CES table

Yeah, you say - hey video guy, no kidding - we get it.  But think about this for a moment.  CES has always been about the newest televisions and how big and beautiful they are.  But now, we are able to experience gorgeous video on any piece of glass, on the screen of our choosing.  Whether it is a fresh from CES 4K HDR TV, shiny new tablet from Best Buy, or a Roku Ultra 4K device, video is at the heart of all these viewing experiences.  At Brightcove, video is in our DNA and we are working every day to make it easier for our partners to get their content to these screens effectively.   

So - the buzzworthy chatter at CES says that 4K HDR has become the new normal.  Normal is boring - hence we should all talk 8K.  Trust me here, good blog reader - I am a huge fan of new technology and using it to improve experiences and solve problems, but I’m here to offer the opinion that the 8K train is a bit early.  When it comes to eye popping video experiences, I believe that existing OTT video experiences that use AVC and HEVC can be improved through optimization, analysis and machine learning to deliver crisp, compelling content that is very pleasing to the eye.  It’s not unpleasant on the budget, either.  This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t pay any attention to this new, shiny 8K think and dream of lines of resolution jumping over your head (like the sheep before them), but to take a deep breath and delineate between what works exceptionally well today versus what we’re planning for in the years ahead.  Dynamic Delivery and Dynamic Packaging are two concepts we are very passionate about and we are bullish on their impact for our customers in 2017.