Any Channel, Anywhere. How Distribution Service Providers Make Broadcasting a Global Industry


One of the features of the diversified, multi-platform media world we have today is the greater involvement of organizations that perform a specialist role in the complex chain stretching from content originator to viewer. It has been a long time since a broadcaster has owned the entire chain from talent, camera and production crew all the way through the transmission network of masts that beamed the signal into the home. Today, with content owners requiring distribution of their assets over multiple platforms, from terrestrial to satellite, cable, internet and mobile, and to any point in the world, it’s understandably quite rare for any broadcaster to be responsible for more than a small link in the chain.
The range of technologies and different types of infrastructures involved in a typical media brand’s operation makes it almost inevitable that third-party providers play a part, in a variety of roles. Both production and distribution of channels now tend to be geographically dispersed, and the movement of content from one place to another is a major feature of the industry today.
Specialist providers with global infrastructure offer broadcasters the means to project their presence to any audience around the world, but even within domestic markets broadcasters often work with distribution partners who can offer facilities far more cost-effectively, through economies of scale.
The complexity of a bouquet operator’s offering — bringing together its own original channels together with others from broadcasters anywhere on the globe, and packaging them as a service to geographically diverse audiences can require anything from a simple delivery of channel content from a production center in one country to the uplink site in another, or the requirement can be for something more like an end-to-end service.
Each broadcaster or bouquet operator has its own unique requirements, so distribution service providers can be asked to offer anything from a simple fiber link from point to point, to a complete channel build with playout, regionalized advertising and content substitution, conditional access and EPG data integration, as well as delivery to the point of uplink.
Sky offers an example of two different approaches: Sky Italia takes content frombroadcasterssuch as Turner and Discovery Channel from their London sites, via the GlobeCast Backbone Network, which transports it to Sky Italia’s Milan headquarters. From there, the platform operator manages the final stages, adding the conditional access and EPG data before uplinking the package for DTH. It’s a rather different arrangement for Sky’s UK operation, where there is anadaptation hub at the service provider’s site: this allows Sky to send conditional access and EPG data to GlobeCast and other providers like Arqiva, who can combine it with the channel content and uplink direct to the Eurobird or Astra satellites.
The global infrastructure that links content owners to their audiences is made up of a combination of fiber links and satellite capacity, which can be employed flexibly in any configuration to achieve a customized service that meets each broadcaster’s needs. The satellite capacity means that bouquet operators like CanalSat can be provided with a full uplink service to the Astra satellite, and from there to Spanish and French viewers. For contribution stages (for example, getting channel content from the point of origination to the location where it is packaged with the other channels in the bouquet) fiber links are usually the preferred solution, on the basis of cost. But this is not always the case: if a content owner wants to reach several platforms in one region, it may be more cost-effective to contribute via a satellite signal that can be downloaded by bouquet operators in several countries covered by the footprint – if the content owner’s distribution team can strike five or six deals, a single satellite feed could turn out more economical than six point to point fiber feeds.
Occasionally a broadcaster’s needs are such that a completely dedicated network is the best solution. This is the case for Al Jazeera, where production is distributed across four timezones for round the clock coverage, with heavy traffic resulting between the major bureaux in each zone. Bouquet operators and content owners also want to reach audiences in hotels, and viewers on IPTV platforms: well-connected service providers offer the means to achieve this.
In fact, as a glance through the hundreds of channels your EPG lists will confirm, distribution service providers offer the means for any channel to reach an audience on any continent, no matter where it originates from.

Tags: iss055 | globecast | terrestrial | satellite | cable | internet | mobile | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Globecast at IBC2011

    Globecast at IBC2011

  • CellSat - the cell and Ku-band IP satellite solution from Dejero at IBC 2017

    CellSat - the cell and Ku-band IP satellite solution from Dejero at IBC 2017

  • Cobham satellite EXPLORER products at IBC 2014

    Cobham satellite EXPLORER products at IBC 2014

  • HEVC 4k Encoding from Aviwest at NAB 2017

    HEVC 4k Encoding from Aviwest at NAB 2017

  • SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

    SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

  • PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

    PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

  • Inmarsat at NAB 2014

    Inmarsat at NAB 2014

  • SIS LIVEs Martyn Hopkins on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    SIS LIVEs Martyn Hopkins on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • SIS LIVE and their products ManPak and DriveForce at IBC 2013

    SIS LIVE and their products ManPak and DriveForce at IBC 2013

  • SIS LIVE: ManPak and uPack60 at NAB 2013

    SIS LIVE: ManPak and uPack60 at NAB 2013

  • Inmarsat: Global Xpress and Explorer at NAB 2013

    Inmarsat: Global Xpress and Explorer at NAB 2013

  • Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

    Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

  • Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

    Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

  • Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

    Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

  • SIS Live at IBC 2012 Part Two

    SIS Live at IBC 2012 Part Two

  • SIS Live at IBC 2012 Part One

    SIS Live at IBC 2012 Part One

  • SIS LIVE at NAB 2012

    SIS LIVE at NAB 2012

  • Haivision at IBC2011

    Haivision at IBC2011

  • SIS LIVE at IBC2011

    SIS LIVE at IBC2011

  • Argosy cables, connectors, active products, network KVM switches and fiber transport at IBC 2019

    Argosy cables, connectors, active products, network KVM switches and fiber transport at IBC 2019

  • Elemental Technologies news at IBC 2015

    Elemental Technologies news at IBC 2015

  • Broadway Systems at NAB 2012

    Broadway Systems at NAB 2012

  • Guntermann and Drunck at IBC2011

    Guntermann and Drunck at IBC2011

  • Argosy at IBC2011

    Argosy at IBC2011

  • Telecast at IBC2011

    Telecast at IBC2011

  • Haivision at NAB 2012

    Haivision at NAB 2012

  • Sonnet Technologies demo a mobile workstation for editing in the field at IBC 2018

    Sonnet Technologies demo a mobile workstation for editing in the field at IBC 2018

  • Broadcasters mobile phone rack with HD voice from Glensound at IBC 2018

    Broadcasters mobile phone rack with HD voice from Glensound at IBC 2018

  • Mobile Connectivity with Dejero GateWay at NAB 2018

    Mobile Connectivity with Dejero GateWay at NAB 2018

  • Mobile comms from Clear-Com with LQV4 software and Agent-IC shown at BVE 2018

    Mobile comms from Clear-Com with LQV4 software and Agent-IC shown at BVE 2018

  • Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

    Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

  • Soliton Zao at IBC 2016

    Soliton Zao at IBC 2016

  • Glensound Expedition at IBC 2015

    Glensound Expedition at IBC 2015

  • Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

    Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

  • Dejero at NAB 2014

    Dejero at NAB 2014

  • Glensound: RECCE HD at NAB 2013

    Glensound: RECCE HD at NAB 2013

  • Visionary Solutions at NAB 2013

    Visionary Solutions at NAB 2013

  • Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

    Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

  • Glensound at BVE 2013

    Glensound at BVE 2013

  • YoSpace at NAB 2012

    YoSpace at NAB 2012

  • Volicon at IBC2011

    Volicon at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Connecting legacy analogue audio equipment with the Dante® network.

    Connecting legacy analogue audio equipment with the Dante® network.


Articles
Avid and Rohde & Schwarz
Ciaran Doran

Rohde & Schwarz is the perfect ingest partner to build flexible workflows with Avid.

Tags: Rohde and Schwarz | avid | spycernode | editing | asset management | venice | Ciaran Doran
Contributing Author Ciaran Doran Click to read
Sennheiser MKE 400 hands on review and test
KitPlus

Sennheiser have just released two products aimed at simplifying audio on the move, the MKE400 shotgun microphone and the XS Lav Mic, in this review we’re looking at the MKE400.

Tags: sennheiser mke400 | sennheiser mke 400 | sennheiser mke 400 quality | best microphones for youtube | mic for youtube videos | sennheiser mke 400 hands on | microphone review | iphone videography | microphones | sound for video | camera microphone | microphone for iphone | microphone for youtube | video microphone | shotgun mics | smartphone microphone | vlogging mic | best microphone for video | shotgun microphone review | mke 400 | sennheiser mke 400 hands on review | sennheiser mke 400 test | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read
A Broadcasters Guide to Microservices
Roger Persson

The word “microservices” has been creeping into the conversation about software-centric systems recently. Is it really a different approach, what does it mean, and what are the advantages?

Tags: nxt edition | microservices | modular software | Roger Persson
Contributing Author Roger Persson Click to read
Streaming Technologies Explained
Bruce Devlin - new

The word streaming can relate to different technologies from different manufacturers in different scenarios and in this short article we are going to take a little tour of what it all means. 

Tags: mr mxf | streaming | hls | dash | cmaf | mpeg | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read
REVIEW - Hollyland MARS 400S PRO Digital Wireless Transmission System
Phil Vinter

Built by Hollyland and costing around £600 the Mars 400S is an easy-to-use wireless video transmitter/receiver system – it will be right up the alley of anyone who, like me, considers an instruction manual to be nothing more than box padding.

Read Phils Full review here, and link to the video review.

Tags: HOLLYLAND | MARS 400 | wireless | tx | rx | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read