Home Analysis Cloud Production could help cut costs and give content producers greater flexibility

Cloud Production could help cut costs and give content producers greater flexibility

Agile Content has launched its Cloud Production solution, which allows broadcasters to replace their traditional broadcast stack for a cloud-based application stack, enabling remote production over standard Internet connection. Johan Bolin, CTO of Agile Content, argues that the solution offers mobility and flexibility advantages, while enabling broadcasters to deliver content at a lower cost.

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At IBC 2022, Agile Content showcased its Cloud Production solution which allows broadcasters to replace their traditional broadcast stack for a cloud-based application stack, enabling remote production over a standard Internet connection.

Johan Bolin, CTO of Agile, explained the basic concept: “We developed a solution where we can capture video from professional cameras and consumer devices, send all camera feeds up to the cloud, and then do the channel mixing – which involves selecting which camera feeds to use, adding graphics and mixing audio – in the public cloud.

“It takes the raw camera feeds, audio feeds and microphones and offers editorial applications which can be used to create a TV channel.”

He noted that the solution became even more salient during the pandemic when remote production became necessary. By combining professional cameras with regular consumer devices, such as smartphones, using fixed or mobile Internet access to the cloud meant that content could be produced in real-time without having to dispatch a camera crew.

Bolin also expanded on how Cloud Production could occur over a standard Internet connection.

He said: “We take the signal from all cameras and create two versions of the video: one version which is low bitrate and has very low latency. This version doesn’t look as good, but then we create another version with a high bitrate but longer latency. Everyone editing the programming works with the low resolution version with low latency.”

Bolin elaborated that this allows remote production with multiple camera feeds to occur even on a 10-15 megabit per second Internet connection.

He remarked that the typical approach broadcasters take towards production could be cost inefficient and waste resources, arguing that the optimal approach is to begin with determining what experience broadcasters want the viewer to have when they consume the content, and then working backwards to select the right technology.

He gave the example of the Swedish broadcaster SVT producing shows specifically for online video platforms Twitch and TikTok. Bolin said: “Those productions have completely different video quality settings for various reasons, and because they know the bitrate at the end will be lower, anyhow. They know the content will be broadcast on different kinds of screens, rather than mostly TV.

“They might know that the colour settings, and the way the user would like the editing to be performed, is different because when you watch something on Twitch you expect a different kind of creation than what you watch on your living room TV. You want that flexibility and our end-to-end perspective provides us with that. “

Bolin described how Cloud Production fits into a holistic glass-to-glass solution which includes Agile Content’s SaaS solution and all the components needed to build and distribute a Pay TV or streaming service – such as a subscriber management system, packagers, a CDN, as well as the apps and even devices.

He noted that while clients tend not to adopt the entire glass-to-glass solution, they value the modularity of working with different components of the tech stack. He said: “It being glass-to-glass does not add technical value. What it does add is experience and knowledge for us so we know all the processes in an end-to-end delivery model. It gives us a different perspective, that starts with the consumer, when we create production solutions.”

 


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