The Cloud Toolkit for Next Generation TV

June 14, 2018

The Cloud Toolkit for Next Generation TV

Traditional linear TV is facing a challenging environment right now. With the consumer appetite for all content everywhere and anywhere and an expectation of personalised and engaging services, linear TV is working hard to keep up. Many linear broadcasters are launching their own over-the-top services as well as increasing engagement with additional add on services. As this trend increases we will see even more use of new technology, such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in an effort to further enhance the user experience.

However, all this change means that margins are rapidly decreasing. Broadcasters are investing heavily in enhancing services and although cord-cutting is not as prevalent as first predicted, it is having an effect. At the same time, consumer expectations for perfect quality are at an all-time high. What this all means is that in order to stay competitive, linear broadcasters need to make their entire workflows more efficient, and with that cost efficient.

Cloud and IP technologies have the potential to transform linear broadcast, but they have been met with a great deal of scepticism, with broadcasters reticent to swap out legacy hardware for a more agile cloud setup. While cloud technology was in its infancy, that reticence was understandable, however now the landscape looks very different. What cloud technology enables is compelling new and live content to be prepared, managed and channel delivered from/to any anywhere including global broadcast affiliates and/or direct to consumers within minutes vs. months.

What broadcasters should be doing now is looking at the cloud and IP, not just for delivery for OTT services, but for the entire workflow. Some broadcasters are already doing this to great effect. Take Ginx TV, for example. A leading e-sports channel, Ginx TV has expanded rapidly and now reaches 55 million households in North America, Europe, and Asia. That would not have been possible without the efficiency and lean operations afforded by the use of cloud technology. This type of efficiency only comes from implementing cloud throughout the workflow.

KnoxMediaHub (KMH) is an AWS open and consistent environment where content can be hosted. More than that, a multitude of operations can be performed on that content within this cloud environment, including transcoding, editing, adding subtitles, creating linear channels, Artificial Intelligence based metadata generation, and delivery to b-to-b clients or for OTT publishing. Because it is in a cloud environment, hundreds of thousands of operations can be executed at the same time. Amongst its clients is Dorna Sports, the global MotoGP producer, which is using the platform for the immediate distribution of its recorded content to hundreds of Clients in 5 continents. Content can be made available to the correct clients in just a matter of seconds. Clients can preview and download files within a customised client portal.

From management to playout and that is where Veset comes in, offering a fully cloud all-in-one playout platform, natively developed for AWS. Broadcasters can pull the schedule and content together, with all other elements entirely in the cloud, making it much more efficient and making it affordable and achievable to launch multiple channels. Take Fashion TV, for example, a leading fashion channel. Founded in 1997, it moved to Veset’s cloud playout solution in 2015. Before that, Fashion TV had just two global channels. Using cloud playout, it has launched an additional 12 channels leveraging the same content library. A channel launches takes just a few days and can easily be discontinued if not successful without suffering huge costs. All of it is done in a lean and cost-efficient manner allowing FashionTV to take risks, react to customer requirements and new markets demands in an agile and responsive way, impossible to achieve in the old paradigm.

Another piece of the puzzle is how that content gets to the right platforms for delivery. Zixi provides a cloud-based and on-premise software platform that enables broadcast-quality video delivery over the open Internet. The Zixi Platform makes it easy and economical for media companies to source, manage, localize, and distribute live events and 24/7 live linear channels in broadcast QoS, securely and at scale, using unmanaged IP networks. Fashion TV, Da Vinci TV, Ginx TV, Gospel Channel, In The Box (ITB), 4Music and other content owners have all been initial adopters in leveraging Veset playout together with Zixi delivery hosted on AWS to quickly and cost-effectively playout and deliver their live linear channels.

Major broadcasters and service providers are rapidly moving forward with plans to leverage this same approach to replace their current traditional on-premise playout servers with cloud-based ingest, playout and delivery in support of 24x7 channels, pop-up channels and cost-effective disaster recovery solutions.

If you want to understand how to migrate to the cloud across the media lifecycle, joint Veset, Zixi and KnoxMediaHub for a series of innovation days across London, Paris and Madrid, throughout June. The events, which will take place on the 19th June in London, the 21st June in Paris, and the 26th June in Madrid, will explore the challenges and opportunities of using cloud and IP technology across the media lifecycle, from content management to playout and linear channel origination to global broadcast grade stream distribution.

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