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DISTRIBUTION & DELIVERY SDV Shaping the Next Generation of Linear TV Service Offerings by Lionel Bringuier S oftware-defined video (SDV) solutions are shaping the next generation of linear TV service offerings for both content distributors and content programmers. Live-to-VOD services such as catch-up TV, start- over TV, nPVR and delay TV offer new ways to enrich live TV experiences and package live content alongside targeted advertising. But they are not minor undertakings. Each live-to-VOD service implementation must take into account the different types of screens and networks in use. Bandwidth, storage, monetization and security concerns can lead to complications that are quickly multiplied by the myriad viewer devices and scenarios involved. The fl exibility of a software-defi ned video processing approach allows content providers to offer premium live content while extracting unmined value from that same content. They can enhance core live linear streaming services with catch-up TV functionality and multiscreen delivery. By integrating ad insertion capabilities, operators can even generate additional revenues through targeted advertising. A software- defi ned video approach helps content programmers deliver their content more effi ciently, leverage the much more effective ad targeting achieved through IP-unicast delivery, and reduce IP distribution costs. SDV Powers the Launch of Shift by MSNBC To keep a competitive edge, content providers need to be able to easily prepare their technology infrastructures for live linear streaming at the lowest possible total cost of ownership. By relying on a software-based approach rather than fi xed-function hardware, live-to-VOD systems can be more easily upgraded to embrace new standards and features as they emerge. The recently deployed Shift by MSNBC channel is a great example. Shift by MSNBC allows viewers to watch live news events while simultaneously engaging with other members of the MSNBC community. For example, on January 20, 2015, as President Obama stepped up to the podium to deliver his State of the Union Address, Americans were doing more than simply watching. Viewers of Shift by MSNBC were voting on whether they agreed or disagreed with what the President was saying. They were “liking” his comments on social media platforms such as Twitter, with more than 1,600 tweets exchanged between viewers; they were commenting on his speech and sharing with friends. 46 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 103 JULY 2015 If you didn’t get a chance to participate, you can still join the conversation. That’s because Shift by MSNBC, a stand-alone digital channel by the cable network, has built an interactive TV viewing experience that not only exists in the moment, but can be accessed by VOD – indefi nitely. At the 2015 NAB Show, Jennifer Leung, director of product development for MSNBC, explained that “with our video infrastructure, it’s about how to deliver personalized experiences and fi guring out how we can get content to people that they care about. We’re seeking ways to enrich the experience surrounding the video and have a lot to look forward to in terms of building out new experiences.” Elemental Delta, a software-defi ned video delivery platform, supports the MSNBC Shift live-to-VOD workfl ow, making on-demand assets immediately available after the live stream is concluded. “Elemental Delta is actually further improving our workfl ows because it’s able to capture the moments as quickly as they happen and distribute them on all platforms,” Leung noted. “It’s important to make sure content lives past the time of its being live. The great thing about the live-to-VOD workfl ow is that when someone visits Facebook after the State of the Union address, for example, to see this video even today, they would not just see the video, they would also see all of the conversation and context around it. And the conversation can continue,” she added. “Those are the kind of experiences that Elemental Delta allows us to realize. Elemental solutions are what made the difference between our being a 9-5 operation and a 24x7 operation and workfl ows powered by Elemental Delta and Elemental Live make the difference for us in creating these new experiences.” Elemental Delta supports multiscreen delivery of advanced live-to-VOD services such as catch-up TV, start-over TV, and nPVR. The IP video delivery solution lowers storage, bandwidth and transit costs and helps content providers mitigate distribution expense by taking ownership of greater portions of the delivery infrastructure. Already adopted in more than 17 countries, Elemental Delta combines just-in-time (JIT) packaging, origin services, intelligent caching, dynamic ad insertion and replacement, and end-to-end encrypted content protection functions in a single platform.