Whereas a remote production set-up was a ‘nice to have’ solution, now it is essential, and the foundation for remote broadcast workflows is the use of cloud infrastructure. The broadcast industry is rethinking the requirement that every member of a production team must attend the facility when working on a live show. This article considers the impact of the coronavirus lockdowns on the future of broadcast infrastructure and workflows, taking a look at disaster recovery and attitudes to self-sufficiency and collaboration, through to remote working. It advises that media companies should give their suppliers scope to meet their result expectations without being too prescriptive about the approach.
During a workshop with the European Broadcasting Union, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation and Media Distillery presented the results of a proof-of-concept on Binge Markers: the technology that automatically detects the end credits in video playback, which binge-viewers can use to skip the end credits of a show to enable a smooth, quick transition between programmes. Here, the two companies involved discuss the preliminary results from the PoC and the current state of the technology.
Covid-19 has altered consumer behaviour and demonstrated the need for quick decisions on where audiences can be found and where advertising budget should go. Connected TV provides programmatic buying with real-time and in-depth targeting, and is more flexible than linear broadcast. However, the full potential of CTV advertising is not being realised because many marketers are not aware of its benefits, and there is a lack of clarity on what actually constitutes connected TV, with many marketers using digital video and CTV as interchangeable terms. There are also concerns about how you measure CTV’s impact as part of the full media mix. This article explores priorities if we want to make more of connected TV as an advertising channel.
As more people use connected TV, and streaming accounts for a growing share of all viewing, it is imperative that content providers and advertisers have a well thought-out CTV strategy. They need to understand how audiences are responding to greater content choice, especially as user interfaces make it easier to move between broadcast and streaming, and from linear to on-demand. The challenge is to decipher viewing preferences and locate desirable audiences. Understanding the ‘Total TV Watcher’ requires a data-first approach that puts viewing data at its heart.
Cloud-based service continuity solutions are a flexible, cost-effective option that can be used to maintain the highest levels of availability for broadcast and OTT channels. Rather than recreating a hardware infrastructure and spending the time and money to maintain it, broadcasters and service providers are increasingly relying on the cloud as a simpler way to secure their 24/7 channels and pop-up channels, as well as test new services. Offering immediate activation, a pay-per-use business model and dynamic scalability, the cloud sets the standard for flexibility.
When we emerge from the coronavirus-induced ‘temporary normal’, we may see media agencies and brands more empowered, and determined to experiment in a bid to get revenues flowing and do more with less. This will put more emphasis on the role of automation. For broadcasters, automation is the basis for innovation as well as reducing operational expenses. This article outlines the opportunities created when an automated, cloud-based approach removes silos and swivel chairs from sales and platform management.
While multi-DRM provides a basic level of protection for OTT streaming services, it should be considered as a baseline from which to build. It addresses the content security threat but the service itself remains vulnerable, and the surface area for pirates to attack is considerably greater in streaming than in traditional broadcast. What is needed is a comprehensive security strategy that includes watermarking, a way to deal with credential sharing, and anti-piracy services that identify leaks and prompt actions ranging from takedowns to device advisory messages. The risks from increased virtualisation should also be addressed.
Android TV offers several key advantages for Pay TV operators, including faster time-to-market for new TV services and reduced total cost of ownership. To reach the full potential of the platform, Android TV needs to be enhanced on the video delivery side. By integrating low-latency streaming, multicast ABR and server-side ABR control into the Android TV framework, Pay TV operators can deliver outstanding television experiences on the set-top box OS that is set to lead the market in the years ahead.
New media formats will become the new normal thanks to 5G, with several innovations benefiting from the vastly increased bandwidth and lower latency. Holographic video will be back on the agenda, with people watching their favourite shows in true 3D. Broadcasters will be able to exploit the popularity of e-sports and incorporate it into services, and use AR to improve viewing experiences, including on the second screen. Broadcasters should be looking at how they harness the IoT, from in-vehicle entertainment to interactive billboards and wearables.
To coincide with Videoscape Europe, the thought-leadership event for premium video streaming, we are publishing a profile of this year’s winner in the ‘Contribution to Streaming Video Excellence’ category at the Videonet Connected TV Awards 2020. That prize went to Harmonic for its VOS360 Live Streaming Platform and here the company gives more details on the solution.