Three Things About 4K

|February 20, 2015 0
And more on why smart TVs are breaking the idiot box or otherwise, on Net Neutrality debate and on the many tech-blips that are flashing in the media and entertainment space

Pratima H

MUMBAI, INDIA: In a quick interview, Ramki Sankaranarayanan, founder and CEO, Prime Focus Technologies, juggles with many buttons on the remote control of innovation that he has been wielding for the past few years. And we couldn’t help but talk as much about 4K hype and other tech pixels as we could. Zoom in

Why would you say that Media & Entertainment (M&E) vertical is doing more with technology than it has all these years? What exactly is happening?

                                 

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There are clear major trends around Digital forces and high-definition areas for example. The biggest change has possibly come from consumer content consumption point of view, in that how it has shifted from traditional to new options and at what dizzying speeds. There is an emerging basket of a variety of devices and platforms today and so many players in the industry. We have traditional broadcasters to Cable and Broadcast segments to content players witnessing and embracing the shift. Everybody is jockeying for their space under the digital sun, and we have been watching a lot of enterprise-level digitization in this area, both at B2B and B2C levels.

4K emerged as one of the big buzzwords at the recent CES season. What’s your assessment here? Is it too hyped? Is it all about more pixels or something more than that in the sense of making the box less of an idiot and more of an intelligent genie?
I, on my side, would be watching the HDR (High Dynamic Range) part here. The 4K- HDR collaboration looks to be an interesting spot and will mark the real take-off for 4K. We are definitely going to see a better customer experience. Sports will drive the 4K revolution for sure and yet HDR and other competing technologies are also knocking at the door, specially as they are as much driven by colour as 4K is.

How? And would you see the future moving towards Smart TVs?

Let’s first talk of resolution. High-Definition evolution is all about providing better pixels and quality to customers. We were big backers of 3D but it did not pan out as well on the home-segment. As I see it, Smart TVs and 4K will not be mutually exclusive. They will co-exist like mobiles and tablets. It is a balance of lean-forward and lean-back experience.

On the broader front, are debates like Net Neutrality and how the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) in US shapes it, going to have serious implications?

Yes, the debate is a big one specially when we think of how the topic is crucial for not just innovation, but business as well. It makes sense for customers, is democratic and fair but it also benefits last-mile players. Locking never drives innovation. We need to fuel demand for good customer engagement and the right innovation.

Talking of innovation in this vertical and the ones around it, what have been the gaps so far?

Yes, there are more gaps than filled spaces. The first step for on-demand content has been covered, content buffers well and network bandwidth is better than before but these are still hygiene factors and people have still not figured out the economies around it or how it can make customers watch for longer windows. The gap on personalized content and entertainment stares us. Why don’t we have more Netflixes in this world?

Have enterprises in India been able to crack the potential of new innovation on technology front?

Good broadband and better bandwidth have been sorts of catalysts here. Acceptance of electronic payment systems by customer has also changed. In India, we have seen a lot of leapfrogging and interactivity with content is just one of the many areas that are picking up. We are right in the eye of the storm and making things possible. We have lots of products happening in terms of innovation but the world is not there yet. We are a good example of a company that has cracked new trends well and services to M&E Vertical have shown us that the market here is ready and eager. We at Prime Focus Technologies (PFT, a technology subsidiary of Prime Focus), for instance, offer Hybrid Cloud technology-enabled Media ERP Suite and cloud media services to help broadcasters, studios, brands, sports and digital businesses drive creative enablement, enhance ecosystem efficiencies & sustainability, reduce cost and realize new monetization opportunities. We have been working with major content owners like Disney, Warner Bros., 21st Century Fox-owned Star TV, Zee TV, Warner Bros. Television Studios, CBS Television Studios, 20th Century Fox Television Studios, HBO Asia, Google, MTV, Mnet, CNBC Africa, SABC, IFC, EROS International, SONY Music, Viacom 18, SONY MSM, STAR TV, Fox Television Studios etc to name a few. The market has a good appetite for right technology.

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