Cloud and virtualization misconceptions for broadcasters

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Most businesses have moved to a cloud-based environment, and media and entertainment companies are now following suit.

While many have been reluctant to adopt cloud-based production, post-production, distribution and other technologies, others have jumped into the cloud early, spurred on by changing viewer preferences and other factors. Those who adopted cloud-based technology saw its potential to help them adapt to viewer expectations, while common misconceptions led other companies to stick with older, non-cloud-based options. cloud.

Here are some of these misconceptions and reality of virtualization and cloud technology, and how they can help propel your business into the future.

Virtualization costs more

You may think that moving to a cloud-based system costs more, but over time it can actually save you money on production costs. With cloud-based tools and virtualization, your production team can handle a variety of tasks including graphic design and sports analysis outside of the studio.

According to Ulrich Vogt, vice president of product management at Vizrt, “We often think of virtualization and cloud as different ways to provision infrastructure. The comparison only concerns the acquisition of a physical hardware server and the cost of using the cloud or a virtual machine. The benefits of virtualization and the cloud are numerous but often overlooked because they can be difficult to quantify: flexibility, operational efforts for upgrades and replacement, data center operation and security, remote accessibility and collaboration, and efficiency. carbon. »

Cloud-based media and entertainment solutions are more robust than ever and give you more flexibility throughout the production process. You might not save money right away. If you’re considering moving to the cloud, evaluate your workflows holistically before making the switch.

Virtualized solutions and cloud-native solutions are the same

If you’re new to broadcast cloud, you might hear terms like “virtualized” and “cloud native” and think they’re interchangeable. But it’s not, and knowing the difference can help you find the best solution for your needs.

Ignacio Revuelto Rosello, Product Marketing Manager, Playout at Imagine Communications, explains it this way. “For many, virtualization is an elevator and a shift from existing architectures from discrete software to applications running on virtual machines. Cloud-native applications take advantage of managed services provided by cloud providers to host databases, load balancers, containers, and more. This is a game changer in terms of efficiency, cost, security and scalability. »

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For example, a cloud-native distribution system can help you deliver your media to multiple video-on-demand platforms without having to process everything separately, giving your customers faster access to the content they want. see.

One of the best-known cloud-based delivery platforms is Amazon Web Services (AWS). This service makes it easier for your business to distribute high-quality video, including live sports, newscasts, produced shows, and more, to a wider audience while maintaining production quality. AWS also offers a fast and reliable storage solution. This platform also allows you to move your live streams or add live elements to your pre-recorded content.

You can also use tools like Cloud Playout to deliver a live TV experience to viewers using pre-recorded videos. Cloud Playout lets you combine live streams and on-demand content to create a more robust experience for your viewers.

Moving to the cloud means we can ditch our hardware

One of the great benefits of the broadcast cloud is that it allows for better workflow automation. You may already be using the cloud to automate storage, but you can also use it to automate other parts of the workflow, including distribution.

You might think that automation will eliminate your need for hardware and then you will have to downsize your team. But Chister Bohm, vice president of product management at Net Insight, says that’s not the case. “You’ll still need dedicated hardware, because there are solutions that work with that. There is still a need to interface with existing SDI in production and if ingest occurs in remote locations, hardware may be needed there. It is also possible to reduce costs and streamline workflows through automation. Media companies are able to cut some staff by automating processes and workflows, but ultimately you can’t automate the whole operation and staff will still be needed. »

The benefits of moving to the cloud for broadcast

Whatever your stance on virtualization and cloud-based production prior to 2020, you probably had to at least partially embrace it when your production team was pushed home during COVID-19. If you haven’t made the complete change, you’re probably considering it to improve the quality of your production and more efficiently deliver media to your clients.

Cloud streaming can help you run more efficiently while giving you the ability to stream great content across multiple platforms. You are also no longer limited to the talent pool of your geographic area. Cloud-native solutions and virtualization allow you to engage graphic designers, production professionals, and other team members around the world. They can work from anywhere while meeting deadlines and finishing your production on time.

These tools also allow you to better engage your fans and help you contain your content, making it harder for your videos to be hacked and distributed.

Moving to the cloud can help make your production business more flexible, and over time it can save you money on production costs. You may have been hesitant to join the cloud-based environment thinking it would be more expensive and difficult to manage.

But the cloud can improve your operations, allowing you to produce better content by collaborating with talented professionals around the world. Cloud-native platforms and virtualization allow you to distribute content across a wider range of platforms, so your customers can watch what they want, when they want.

You’re no longer limited to studio production software and tools, so you can have people working on animations and other production features while your team shoots on location. You can better engage your audience with tools like studio automation, 4K switching, and sports analysis, among others, creating a better experience for every viewer.

If you haven’t made the jump to cloud-based production yet, jump in and step up your production game.

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