Run Leaner, More Agile and Scalable OTT Operations


Olivier Karra TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Download PDF
Download PDF

The migration to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for media processing is underway and growing as broadcasters and content service providers explore new ways to increase agility and operational efficiencies. With media processing SaaS, content and service providers can quickly and easily deploy new channels, deliver a better quality of experience (QoE) to their audiences from anywhere in the world with low latency across all screens.

This article examines the key benefits of media processing SaaS compared with traditional infrastructure, taking a look at the latest innovations and requirements operators should look for in software and the cloud that can speed up time to market for OTT services, unlock new workflow efficiencies, leverage software and IP, and provide superior video quality up to UHD HDR.

Software as a Service Advantage
Business agility is one of the greatest benefits of media processing SaaS. With a cloud-native service, operators have the capability to launch new services in a matter of hours as opposed to weeks and months. This kind is reactivity cannot be achieved with traditional on-premises platforms unless over-dimensioning the infrastructure, which is not cost effective.

Another attractive feature of SaaS is its pay-as-you-grow business model. Operators only pay for what they use, which dramatically alters the economics of OTT delivery.

Scalability is a unique advantage of the SaaS approach. Relying upon native auto-scaling and elasticity of the IaaS and the application layer, media processing SaaS enables operators to only use the resources necessary for the required workflows when needed. Resources can be scaled up and down, which is perfect for channels covering limited time events or sports tournaments that might only last a day or few days.

Additionally, workflow operations are dramatically simplified due to the function collapse enabled by SaaS. Hosted in the public cloud, SaaS removes the need to build out a physical plant for OTT services. Operators no longer require complex and discrete chains; rather they can support the entire workflow from content acquisition to playout, graphics, transcoding, encryption and delivery with one solution.

Furthermore, operators benefit from the fact that media processing SaaS is maintained and operated by the technology provider. Having a team of experts tasked with ensuring superior quality of experience and service availability at all times allows operators to focus on media and content monetization.

Latest Innovations in SaaS
There are several cloud solutions for media processing that exist today; however, most are repackaged versions of vendors’ existing software appliances within a virtual machine running in Microsoft Azure or the AWS Cloud. They do not provide the agility, flexibility or scalability that is required to launch OTT services. Video content and service providers need a true cloud-native solution.

Recently, we’ve seen cloud playout capabilities added to media processing SaaS, and it is making a huge impact on the way operators create and deliver video. Performing playout in the cloud opens up further cost savings for operators, speeding up their operations and enabling new types of monetization, such as brand reinforcement, pop-up channels, rapid platform deployment and expansion, graphic avails and more.

Today’s consumers expect the same quality for OTT as they do for traditional broadcast channels. Innovations in encoding and transcoding technologies enable operators to deliver UHD HDR from the cloud at low bit rates, with low latency. Choosing a SaaS that provides support for a wide range of formats, codecs and encoding schemes is important. Supporting the next-generation Common Media Application Format (CMAF) standard, SaaS solutions can help operators deliver about the same latency for OTT as live broadcast signals direct to the consumer.

Bandwidth efficiency is a must when distributing OTT services. Recent advancements in content-aware encoding (CAE) ensure that operators can deliver a superior viewing experience while reducing bandwidth consumption by up to 50 percent. Even better, these bandwidth improvements can be made without needing to upgrade infrastructure to the HEVC codec.

Another thing to consider is that OTT services are expanding in nature, beyond VOD. Operators need to support advanced features, such as time-shift TV, cloud DVR, and live TV to satisfy consumer demand and differentiate their service from the competition. Cloud DVR, in particular, is becoming especially popular, allowing viewers to record individual TV shows or series and consume the content on any device, anytime, anywhere. With a comprehensive SaaS solution, operators can securely contribute live 24/7 services and events. Today’s SaaS offerings are capable of handling content preparation and delivery of streams in various protocols (i.e., MPEG DASH, Apple HLS, and Microsoft Smooth Streaming) directly to viewers’ devices.

Finally, having the ability to deliver OTT services on a global scale is a great way to drive new revenue. Operators can prepare and deliver content from anywhere in the world, with total geographic redundancy and operational resiliency using a media processing SaaS. With cloud distribution there is a lot of flexibility in terms of selecting which content to deliver to consumers in various countries, states and regions, as well as which CDN to use. A great example is Fuji TV using a cloud-native software application to streamline the distribution of content to different platforms in different countries. Performing channel origination directly from a public cloud platform as opposed to physical infrastructure provides Fuji TV with massive cost savings and increases its monetization opportunities.

Conclusion
Utilizing SaaS for media processing, video content and service providers can run leaner, more agile and scalable operations, and launch revenue-generating OTT services extremely quickly. Usage-based pricing keeps capex and opex low, enabling operators to explore monetization opportunities. Moreover, recent advancements such as content-aware encoding can be leveraged to ensure superior video quality at low bit rates across all screens.


Tags: iss132 | ott | harmonic | saas | cmaf | vod | delivery | Olivier Karra
Contributing Author Olivier Karra

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

Related Interviews
  • Safer OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

    Safer OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

  • Smarter OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

    Smarter OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

  • Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

    Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

  • TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • EBS at IBC 2015

    EBS at IBC 2015

  • Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

  • Kino Flo at NAB 2016

    Kino Flo at NAB 2016

  • Comigo at IBC 2015

    Comigo at IBC 2015

  • Volicon at IBC 2015

    Volicon at IBC 2015

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

  • BBright at IBC 2014

    BBright at IBC 2014

  • Visual Unity at IBC 2014

    Visual Unity at IBC 2014

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

  • SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

    SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

  • Perception at NAB 2014

    Perception at NAB 2014

  • Visual Unity at NAB 2014

    Visual Unity at NAB 2014

  • ATEME at NAB 2014

    ATEME at NAB 2014

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

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

    Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

  • Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

    Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

  • Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

    Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

  • Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

    Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

  • Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

    Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonic at IBC 2014

    Harmonic at IBC 2014

  • Harmonics Peter Alexander on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Peter Alexander on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonic at IBC2011

    Harmonic at IBC2011

  • New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

    New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

  • Forscene at IBC 2014

    Forscene at IBC 2014

  • Live Streaming Solution from Verizon at NAB 2017

    Live Streaming Solution from Verizon at NAB 2017

  • Mediaflex UMS Platform from TMD at NAB 2017

    Mediaflex UMS Platform from TMD at NAB 2017

  • Elemental Technologies at IBC 2015

    Elemental Technologies at IBC 2015

  • Wowza Media Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wowza Media Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Broadpeak at IBC 2013

    Broadpeak at IBC 2013

  • Globecast at IBC2011

    Globecast at IBC2011

  • Digital Rapids at IBC2011

    Digital Rapids at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • The KITPLUS Show discussing streaming from ingest through to delivery

    The KITPLUS Show discussing streaming from ingest through to delivery


Articles
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
An Epiphany Moment
Peter Savage 2 I had been negotiating the sale of my company and had reached the really hard end of the bargain. We were close to agreeing the final sum after a lot of too-much-give-and-not-enough-take negotiation. The solicitors were calling me, keen for a deal. It had come down to one sticking point and, in my hard ball “I am the Wolf of Wall Street” guise, I wasn’t going to let it go. It would make a value difference of 1.5% on the total outcome. Not much, you might think, but I had already nearly fallen out with the solicitors over their fees and I was giving my advisors an extremely hard time because the corporate adviser couldn’t see how I had already given more than an inch and the buyers were taking more than a mile. I was not going to let them win.
Tags: iss134 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Accelerated Workflows with eGPU
Mike Griggs From the UK’s National Trust to magazine publishers to manufacturers, digital content creator Mike Griggs has a wide and varied portfolio of clients for whom he creates 3D art, motion graphics and multimedia exhibits. A typical day might involve sampling birdsong near Virginia Woolf’s country estate or creating 3D animations for VR. To keep on top of these demands, Griggs wanted to take the full power of the GPU computing revolution on the road.
Tags: iss134 | sonnet | egpu | amd | post production | editing | Mike Griggs
Contributing Author Mike Griggs Click to read or download PDF
University and Mental Health
Rhiannon Jenkins University study and mental health has been in the media quite a bit over the last year, and I’m sure there are many people wondering what is going on? The issues are complex, and I suppose the focus of employability off the back of a degree course has raised the stress stakes for a lot of young people. I’m only qualified to talk about this from my perspective, and my story began when I joined a course not knowing I had a mental health condition.
Tags: iss134 | portsmouth uni | mental health | student | tvfutures | Rhiannon Jenkins
Contributing Author Rhiannon Jenkins Click to read or download PDF
Protecting the continuity of transmission
Lorna Garrett Your viewers love you. You consistently bring them their preferred channels 24/7. They’ve come to rely on you for their viewing pleasure. They never miss cheering on their beloved sports teams. They’re the envy of their friends as they watch live concerts of their favourite bands. They gather the family around and catch up on their must-see shows. They don’t have a bad word to say about you.
Tags: iss134 | garland | gpl | streaming | artel | disaster recovery | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF