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Key question: Running entire TV platforms from the cloud, the next path to growth?

By Andrew Yeo

The convergence of technologies has empowered broadcasters and new media organisations to push their content across multiple platforms, capturing eyeball across continents. While going digital and social is the name of the game, broadcasters are indeed wondering where’s the path to growth … and how to get there.

In monitoring the plethora of presentations and webinars on the eve of BroadcastAsia 2022, the one that seemed to offer a clearer path to growth and sustainability for broadcasters was a presentation by Martin Webb, Senior Product Manager, Cloud TV, Comcast Technology Solutions. Although most broadcasters are not digital natives but immigrants, he urged all professionals in the industry to think digital as broadcast and online has converged.

To survive and thrive in the new media landscape broadcasters need to go digital-first with cloud-based TV platforms? 

“The digital transformation of the TV industry, driven by running entire TV platforms from the cloud, is now in full swing,” said Webb, while pointing out six core benefits that can come about by transforming our mind to think “digital first” and by working in the cloud.

The six core benefits that the transformation will unlock are:

•  Save Opex by converging workflows into a single TV platform;

•  Increased agility, allowing faster responses to an ever-changing market;

•  Consistent cross-platform functionality, reducing friction.

•  Optimise ROI on the company’s biggest investment — its content catalogue; and

•  Grow ARPU by adopting innovative pricing models.

“TV has officially gone from On-the-Air to In-the-Cloud. The digital transformation of our industry is in full-swing, and, for broadcasters, this provides answers to the key strategic question of the moment — where to go next for growth?”, reiterated Webb.

He also advised broadcasters to fully digitalise and leverage their archives by launching multiple online properties via social media; build one-to-one consumer relationships using addressable advertising as well as tailoring offers and promotions; and be where audiences are – even across continents – for example, by offering paid subscriptions of ‘home news/content’ to groups of expats working in various foreign countries.

Many broadcasters know where they need to go, the benefits of working in the cloud but how can they ensure their digital transformation is a smooth and successful one?

Webb advised: “To ensure the use of microservices is more than just scalability.”

He warned that to successfully transform the traditional broadcast model it is important to realise that a technology change is not enough, it must be accompanied by a business process change.

“The business process change is just as important as the technology change,” said Webb.

While emphasising that microservices in Cloud TV is the key to unlocking the door to reap the benefits from working in the cloud, broadcasters must ensure that their business strategies are not constrained by the capabilities of the technology platform they adopt.

Webb’s conclusion is that microservices must be like a set to building blocks, able to adapt to broadcasters’ content operations and business services.

But with so many new technological enhancements being announced day after day, the latest being metaverse, how are broadcasters keeping track of the many emerging hybrid solutions?

How does one navigate trade shows such as NAB or BroadcastAsia? Will the latest hybrid solutions on show today be obsolete withing the next few years?

Perhaps, one way at BroadcastAsia is to have a chat with system integrators before checking out what’s hot, what’s cool at this year’s in-person broadcast show at Singapore Expo.

Occupying a prominent position at BroadcastAsia 2022 from June 1-3 is Magna System at booth 5E1-01 in Hall 5. It is featuring the very latest, cutting-edge IP ecosystem and cloud-enabled products and solutions.

The Magna stand is demonstrating a complete SMPTE ST-2110 IP workflow under EVS’ Cerebrum control and orchestrated by the new Cerebrum IP-Core SDN. Further, all IP sources on the stand will be monitored by the TAG Video Systems MCM9000 monitoring solution.

Patrick So, Magna Systems Director Sales & Operation (Asia), and his staff are ready for a discussion if you like to do a deep dive into how IP system will be around for years to come.

“Magna Systems is at BroadcastAsia to demonstrate and showcase IP ecosystem and cloud-enabled products, technology and solutions from many of our key partners including Alibaba Cloud, Chyron Graphics, Enensys, EVS, Quantum, TAG Video, Telestream, TVU and VideoFlow.

“We also have experts on hand to demonstrate and explain the full IP ecosystem at our stand.”

Alibaba Cloud is at the booth to demonstrate cloud connectivity and workflows. By using the Alibaba Cloud Elastic Desktop Service (EDS) studios can leverage the highly elastic and low TCO cloud-based desktop service that supports industry standard NLE software such as Adobe Premiere and Davinci Resolve to transform on-premises workflows into a full cloud-based workflow.

Alibaba Cloud will also demonstrate how, for hybrid cloud environments, Lucidlink, a software storage service together with the Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service (OSS), can maximise a user’s ROI by transforming his or her existing on-premises workstations into a 4K/8K capable NLE platforms without any hefty investments on high performance storage hardware — whilst maintaining seamless integration with the NLE software of your choice.

Another Magna’s partner is ENENSYS, demonstrating its IPGuard-X automatic changeover switch for ST2110 and TSoIP environments whilst running as a software application on COTS servers. ENENSYS will also demonstrate TestTree StreamProbe, its comprehensive software-based monitoring system for TSoIP, OTT, VoD and ST2110 content, including SCTE-35 analysis.

So also said EVS is showcasing its cutting-edge SDN and Cerebrum IP Core while EVS’ Neuron will provide all processing and conversion.

Be on the lookout for TAG’s latest IP monitoring solution visualising probing, monitoring and displaying all IP sources, including ST-2110, TSoIP, JPEG XS, OTT and NDI.

Other partners in attendance are Quantum, showcasing its H4000 Essential, Quantum StorNext while Telestream demonstrating its Telestream Content Management solution and its latest versions of DIVA and Kumulate.

If you are planning to reinvent your media supply chain, talk to TVU about its multi-awarded hands-on demos of TVU Channel, a 24/7 cloud-native broadcast solution with full SCTE ad insertion and FAST Channels.

Ideal Systems, another popular systems integrator, has issued an open invitation to “Come & Meet Us” at BroadcastAsia 2022 at booth 5F1-09.

Network Device Interface (NDI) has become a leading standard for video productions; it has grown at an exponential rate over the last two years helping broadcasters and production companies overcome the difficulties presented during Covid-19 pandemic with new more efficient ways to do video production.

Ideal’s invitation states: “We are delighted to bring together some of our NDI partners at BroadcastAsia to showcase their technology and our solutions.

“We have brought in experts and equipment from BirdDog, SimplyLive, Telescript, KILOVIEW, NETGEAR, NewTek, SWIT, CAPELLA, TAG and AJA to our booth so we can discuss the benefits, flexibility and possibilities of NDI for your broadcast, and production requirements.

“Thus, we’d like to invite you to meet us at our Ideal Systems booth and have a conversation with our Ideal Media Works team to help you understand how NDI + Cloud Solutions can help your business to grow.

Another SI participating at the show is Whiteways that has been providing end-to-end solutions to broadcasters in the region for many years.

At booth 5E2-01, it is highlighting AJA’s streaming and recording solutions, Panasonic broadcast cameras, Interactive Touch-Screen Graphics from Ventuz and Panasonic, and Archival Solution with MAM by Disc Archive ALTO.

Whiteways has undertaken many studio projects in the region. Indeed, it takes pride in careful planning to design, supply and conduct integration, testing and commissioning; and it has developed a strong reputation of taking full responsibility for every project, big or small, it undertakes.

And to encourage renewing, affirming and making new business contacts at this year’s in-person broadcast show, Team APB+ is handing out a next-gen anti-microbial, alcohol-free hand sanitiser that can protect your hands again microbes for hours. This is to encourage exhibitors and trade visitors to ‘Keep clam, Carry on & Shake hands’ … as we meet face-to-face once again, let’s celebrate with a firm handshake instead of a fists bump!

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