Amagi – a cloud-based SaaS technology provider for broadcast and connected TV – showcased its channel playout platform, Amagi CLOUDPORT, at IBC this year. CLOUDPORT delivers workflow functionality, from media ingest to scheduling and playout. The company believes the Amagi LIVE feature of the solution makes it easier for single operators to manage multiple live segments and outputs simultaneously and in real-time, while delivering worldwide.
Baskar Subramanian, Co-founder and CEO, said that one significant benefit of the platform is that it enables OTT channels to stream live sports, and then spin those channels down after the event has ended, without accruing many of the operational costs associated with broadcasting live sports.
He remarked: “As live sports continues its migration to OTT services, one of the most interesting use-cases is people only wanting to run the sports event when it’s live – so unlike traditional TV channels, which are 24/7. In previous years and even today, a lot of companies will invest heavily in hardware while running these sports events. Lets say you were broadcasting a 90 minute football match – you spin up the whole system, broadcast the event, and then spin it down. But you still have the hardware sitting in your office.”
Subramanian argued that Amagi CLOUDPORT allows service providers to avoid these operational and hardware costs. He elaborated: “It is a simple software project. The system is spun up and spun down after the 90 minute match is completed, and so you don’t need to pay for anything further than those 90 minutes. This dramatically increases efficiencies from a live sports standpoint.”
Beyond live sports, Subramanian said that CLOUDPORT can enable content creators to rapidly originate new channels in the OTT and FAST space. He remarked: “If I want to create or spin up a new channel, the process can sometimes take six to eight months. Working with us it can take only two weeks, and if the content is ready, only two hours.”
One aspect of the solution that Subramanian believes is particularly important to service providers, is that it provides a unified operational environment for ingesting media, scheduling and playout.
He said: “Say I create a live sports event today and I want to take it to my OTT platforms and multiple other distribution platforms – satellite, cable, etc. – all through one operational environment. Previously there may have been two different workflows and two different teams working on it.
“Amagi provides a ‘single experience’ capability. What this means is that what viewers see on the screen can be controlled independently of whether it’s being delivered to a broadcast, satellite or an OTT service. Everything is managed by Amagi on the backend – you just need to worry about the content creation process.”