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CONNECTED CALL IT A CLOUD IF YOU MUST, BUT WE LIVE IN A VIRTUAL WORLD Jan Weigner Co-Founder and Managing Director, Cinegy I prefer not to use the word “cloud”. It’s useful for eight points in Scrabble, but in broadcasting, if we can still call it that, what you’re really describing is storing data on someone else’s computer or, on an industrial scale, a whole lot of someone else’s computers (data centres). Cloud is just a convenient way of saying “shedload of capacity”. It’s what you do with that capacity that matters. The cloud is certainly a way of rapidly scaling up an IT infrastructure without pouring money into new IT hardware to get a channel, or many channels, on air quickly and easily. Moving and managing media via a data centre environment has been our business for more than 15 years, which is long before it became trendy for television, but of course, we’re rooted in an IT world, so we know how it works. Always have. Right now it’s fashionable to say that broadcasters are under threat from OTT and VoD services, and there’s truth in that. OTT streaming alone is the world’s fastest growing form of video consumption. Is television therefore going away? Unlikely. There are still huge sums of money to be made from ad revenue. However, many broadcasters are now waking up, slowly but surely, to the realisation that a lot of that revenue is being absorbed by the cumbersome hardware they are using, which is not as agile as it should be to compete with the new services, or even add their own. This is because those hardware infrastructures still need to be amortised, maintained, or upgraded, all the while being seen by a younger generation as producing “grandad’s TV”. Such broadcasters are haemorrhaging money by clinging to outdated technologies, workflows, and, yes, suppliers. They don’t have to. They can vastly reduce costs while simultaneously increasing revenue. Virtualisation, i.e., running playout, automation, routing - you name it – in software from a virtual machine in an IP-based environment nestled in the cloud, achieves both. Deploying an IP-based infrastructure, as many are now moving to do, is a must for broadcasters who want to generate new revenue streams and adopt new formats such as 4k, 8K, or whatever 58 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 111 MARCH 2015 TV-BAY111MARCH_Book.indb 58 11/03/2016 17:17