Pushing the Boundaries for OTT


Yaniv Ben-Soussan -new TV-Bay Magazine
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OTT video consumption is gaining traction in Western Europe, with 55 percent of UK broadband households and 51 percent of homes in France watching TV programming and movies online, according to Parks Associates. OTT subscriptions are especially popular with today's Millennial population, as Parks Associates found that 23 percent of Millennial heads of household in the U.S. are OTT-only households.

In light of this information, today's video content and service providers know that to stay competitive, they need to provide an OTT service offering. BSkyB offers an OTT alternative to its satellite service, and. ATT&T recently launched DIRECTV Now in the U.S. Both are great examples of traditional service providers entering the OTT environment.

The key issue that service providers face when it comes to launching OTT channels is that traditional hardware-based infrastructure is complex and expensive, from a deployment and maintenance perspective. Recently, the cloud has emerged as a viable solution. However, not all cloud solutions are equal. While some media processing solutions claim to be cloud-based, they're actually virtualized appliances with limited scalability and workflow flexibility, making it impossible to launch OTT offerings with speed or make timely enhancements to existing services.

This article will explain why cloud-native solutions are better suited for OTT video production and delivery, from a scalability, elasticity and agility standpoint.

Cloud Native Vs. Virtualized Appliances

Cloud-native solutions provide a strong separation between the infrastructure and the application, allowing service providers to use the same processing nodes for multiple applications, such as transcoding, live encoding and origin delivery, based on their needs. With virtualized appliances, one virtual machine (VM) is dedicated to a single task, limiting elasticity. Using a cloud-native solution, one GUI can be used throughout the entire content contribution, processing and delivery process, simplifying video production and distribution workflows compared with traditional infrastructure. Disaster recovery is built in; operators only pay for the data center resources if they are activated.

Additional benefits of cloud-native solutions are scalability and speed. Operators can add and remove cloud services immediately. There is no need to wait for infrastructure to be built because it already exists in the cloud. After the video sources and destinations have been defined, and the cloud-native solution handles the entire media processing chain from ingest through delivery, tailoring branding and advertisements based on the distribution method. A new OTT service can be launched in hours, as opposed to being a months-long process with virtualized appliances. Enhancing the user experience, through advanced features like time-shift TV, is instantaneous. With cloud-native solutions, service providers can monetize upon new OTT services and features right away.

Advanced cloud-native solutions feature template-based workflows that simplify configuration, deployment and management. There's minimal difference between the broadcast and OTT workflows, enabling a short learning curve for operators wanting to explore the OTT realm.

Low cost is another huge advantage of cloud-native solutions. Because service providers can't anticipate how successful their new OTT offering will be, they are often reluctant to invest much upfront. Cloud-native infrastructure solutions have little to no CAPEX and a pay-per-use business model, so they make financial sense for operators looking to enter the OTT market quickly. Virtualized appliances, on the other hand, may require capital expenses in the beginning. They're also more complex and expensive to upgrade as each processing node must be upgraded, one by one.

Conclusion

Cloud-native solutions offer video content and services providers the flexibility, scalability and agility that is critical for launching OTT services quickly, with little to no upfront investment. With cloud-native solutions, such as the Harmonic's VOS cloud family, operators can break free of the limitations of traditional hardware-based infrastructure and virtualized appliances, hosting their entire video production and delivery workflow for broadcast and OTT applications via standard IT hardware, over public or private cloud infrastructure.

VOS cloud-native encoding and transcoding is powered by the Harmonic PURE Compression Engine, which offers codec independence and industry-leading video quality at the lowest possible bitrates, resulting in an exceptional quality of experience for end users while lowering CDN costs.


Tags: iss123 | ott | cloud | harmonic | pure compression engine | Yaniv Ben-Soussan -new
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Brian Eldredge There is an overwhelming amount of content being recorded by sports broadcasters and digital services teams. A broadcaster might capture hundreds of hours of content over the course of, say, a golf tournament, yet only a fraction of that content makes it to air. But what about the rest of it, such as interviews, scenic shots, promos, and behind-the-scenes footage? Too often, priceless moments that don't make it into the broadcast get left on the cutting room floor because they're either not preserved or the right people can't access them, or both.
Tags: iss126 | wazee | dam | cloud | Brian Eldredge
Submitted by Brian Eldredge Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Getting started with IMF
Bruce Devlin - new Content is still King, but only if you can get it out to the consumer. I have just had the privilege of doing a live episode of Bruce's Shorts at the EBU IMF Workshop in Geneva. It was a privilege because I was able to talk about real world issues in making IMF compositions rather than talking about the theory of IMF. I was happy that people laughed at the jokes but even happier that people were taking notes and came up to discuss practical solutions to these difficult problems.
Tags: iss126 | class | imf | mam | Bruce Devlin - new
Submitted by Bruce Devlin - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The 7 Steps to Saving Film
KitPlus We live in a world where - thanks to everything from smartphones to cheaper professional gear - more and more footage is being shot today than ever before. It's a little known fact, however, that as more movies are made, archived physical film works all over the world are in danger of being lost to the damage of time. The Library of Congress alone has documented that only 20% of U.S. feature films from the 1910 and 1920s survive in complete form, and according to European Parliamentary Research, as of 2014, 21% of European film works were held in archives, yet only 1.5% was digitized.
Tags: iss126 | bmd | film scanner | cintel | blackmagic | goldcrest | davinci | grade | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Advances in LED lighting innovation with Rotolight AEOS
Rod Aaron Gammons There's no doubt that lighting plays a critical role in videography, filmmaking and photography. It's the area of content capture that brings added creativity to shoots, whether that's filming a wedding, producing a commercial or making a movie. Much like cameras have evolved over the past few years, lighting has also evolved; from the traditional tungsten, through to the use of LEDs. Of course LEDs have been revolutionised too, now delivering powerful, cost and energy efficient solutions to creatives.
Tags: iss126 | location light | led lighting | AEOS | rotolight | anova | neo | Rod Aaron Gammons
Submitted by Rod Aaron Gammons Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Audience engagement with advertising in an OTT world
Hank Frecon Adapting to how we advertise in an OTT world starts by reaching audiences on every screen with tailored content. Most consumers viewing habits include multi-tasking and juggling different activities at the same time, particularly the younger viewing audiences who tend to watch in a more fragmented, on-demand manner. The task of monetizing content in a way that suits this method of viewing pushes monetization strategies to adopt new technologies, so first let's look at the opportunity.
Tags: iss126 | ott | advertise | acr | source digital | Hank Frecon
Submitted by Hank Frecon Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
TV Futures
Jane Lawrence When I was younger my dad used to encourage me to be a Jack of all trades and a master of none. One of those clich© things parents hand down to their children. However, as I have grown and gone through different stages of education I have found this little piece of wisdom has followed me. Don't get me wrong, being amazing at one thing is a great skill to have, but for me having a good understanding of everything is also vital.
Tags: iss126 | tvfutures | ccitv | portsmouth | preditors | Jane Lawrence
Submitted by Jane Lawrence Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Ad servers and switching solutions
Peter Blanchford Hardware-based ad servers and switching solutions have been around for a long time and, broadly speaking, do the job just fine.
Tags: iss126 | starfish technologies | ad server | ts splicer | ts switch | gop | Peter Blanchford
Submitted by Peter Blanchford Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Integrated and automating marketing campaign production
James Gilbert ITV, as an integrated producer broadcaster, creates, owns and distributes high-quality content on multiple platforms. It operates the largest commercial family of channels in the UK and delivers its content through traditional television broadcasting as well as on demand via the ITV Hub. ITV has the largest share of the UK television advertising market and its family of channels attracted a total share of viewing of 21.4% in 2016, the largest audience of any UK commercial broadcaster. ITV's main channel is the largest commercial channel in the UK, delivering 99% of all commercial audiences over five million.
Tags: iss126 | pixel power | itv | marketing campaign | James Gilbert
Submitted by James Gilbert Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Dressing Room - shooting steamy scenes
Josh Portwine W's latest factual entertainment series relies completely on the ability of fixed rig filming setups to make cast members forget their inhibitions. Described as a fly-on-the-wall documentary, "The Dressing Room" gives TV audiences unprecedented access to team-sport dynamics off the field of play by inviting them into the hidden world of dressing rooms at venues across the country.
Tags: iss126 | aw-eu70 | aw-rp120 | stv | motion content group | shooting partners | Josh Portwine
Submitted by Josh Portwine Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
360 degree video storage requirements
Dave Frederick Swim with bears, run with the bulls, get a pads-eye view of a rocket launch: 360 degree video production, also known as cinematic VR, makes these and many other bucket list-worthy events more accessible than ever. The format has evolved into a powerful storytelling tool, and one that changes not only the way in which visual experiences are shaped, but also the way in which media consumers perceive and interact with video content.
Tags: iss126 | 360 degree | vr | storage | vfx | ssd | san | nas | quantum | Dave Frederick
Submitted by Dave Frederick Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Remote Production - Speed, Control, Infrastructure
Ian Cookson - new Remote production gives broadcasters the ability to capture a wider range of live events, such as regional sports, news or music festivals, and mix them in a remote facility hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Tags: iss125 | calrec | live production | pac-12 | artemis | Ian Cookson - new
Submitted by Ian Cookson - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine