*Extrapolating from where we are today and not including any major technological breakthroughs.
The landscape of the video industry has changed dramatically in the last ten years, new cameras, new formats, new markets and new channels have changed the way we create and consume video. We have seen the transition from Standard Definition to High Definition and then to 4K, the number of TV channels has risen exponentially and the ability to stream content to TV’s, computers and mobile devices means we can consume video almost anywhere.
Cameras have changed from huge, expensive and complicated beasts to small, expensive, complicated beasts In fact, almost everybody has an HD camera in their pocket. Media formats have continued to multiply, we used to have just PAL and NTSC, now we have HD, UHD, HDR and 360 VR with resolutions from 720p to 8K.
Cameras record data onto solid state memory or optical disks, with almost every manufacturer offering their own unique format. As resolutions and bit rates go up, so too do file sizes, with Terabytes of data being generated at shoots. Even the amount of metadata associated with the media can be enormous.
So where will the Future take us? Let’s dust off the crystal ball and take a look…
Whilst the concept of a camera may change, with the ability to generate virtual camera views from multiple sensors, I don’t think the resolution will continue to rise at it’s current level. There is only so much detail the human eye can see so depending on the size of the screen there is an upper limit to the useful resolution of an image. Improvements in the colour space to more accurately display real world images and increased frame rates will make the viewing experience more like looking out of a window.
The advent of Ultra high speed cellular and wireless connections will make it feasible to send content straight to the cloud from the camera, with onboard recording acting as a failsafe. Post production will begin as soon as content arrives, with many tasks handled automatically by Artificial Intelligence Agents. Voice and Facial recognition systems will allow automated transcription, translation and organisation of media into scenes and groups. We could even see the first rough cuts assembled automatically based on scripts or rule based algorithms.
High speed internet access and Virtual Environments will allow production teams to meet and work together on programmes even though they are in different physical locations. Finished edits will be stored in a format that allows multiple versions of the program to be delivered from the same container, so different resolutions and bitrates but also different edits can be played back in real time from the collected assets. We may even see a level of interactivity, with the display system monitoring the audience reaction and tailoring the programme to the viewers.
Viewers will consume content anywhere, with mobile devices and virtual screens allowing us to watch what we want, where we want, whenever we want.
So when is this Future exactly?