Sports production professionals prefer 1080i for producing sports today, and more anticipate to build their future production trucks and studios in 3 Gbps/1080p, instead of 4K.
That’s the latest findings from a survey and white paper by the Josh Gordon Group, sponsored by Miranda Technologies. Researchers at the group asked sports production professionals a range of questions about the future of sports production. “Clearly when sports production professionals have opinions on the subject of technological advancement in broadcast, it’s more than casual speculation,” reads the report.
Survey results are based on 538 responses.
The 1080i format was a clear favorite for producing sports today, says 54.4% of respondents. 720p and SD-SDI were tied for a distant second at 18.1%.
“The low score for 720p was a surprise, especially since ESPN and Fox Sports have standardized operations on 720p,” according to the report.
EPSN’s new Monday Night Football Trucks, which launched this season, are 1080p compliant, but are producing in 720p this season. The plan is to be in 1080p at the start of next year’s NFL season.
Respondents involved with truck productions also said if they were to build out a new truck in the next three years, 35.5% would stick with 1080p, 28.6% would go with 4K, while 24.4% would stay with 1080i. Very little said they would stay with 720p (2.6%).
“We see 1080i also dropping significantly but still holding about a quarter of respondents,” reads the report. “Opting to stay with 1080i could be a practical decision because continuing with current technology is always the most economical path.”
Professionals currently using 720p anticipate migrating to newer progressive formats in the coming years. Of current 720p users, only 6.6% plan on staying with the format. According to the study 4K and 3 Gbps/1080p tied for the most preferred format, each with 34.2% of respondents.
Of respondents that currently use SD-SDI, about half (45.9%) said they would upgrade to HD by moving to 1080i, 27% would go 3 Gbps/1080p; and 14.9% would go 4K. Less than 2% said they would stick with SD-SDI.
One of the goals of a next-generation television standard, which is being dubbed ATSC 3.0, is to make sure it’s robust enough to handle 4K transmissions.