Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!
  • February 23, 2024
  • By Simon Clarke Co-Chief Technology Officer at Telestream
  • Blog

Navigating the Cloud Transition: Tailored Strategies for Broadcasters in the Digital Age

Article Featured Image

The emergence of advanced cloud solutions is reshaping the broadcast landscape, addressing some of the historical concerns related to cybersecurity and the cost limitations associated with traditional on-prem infrastructures. The shift towards cloud solutions promises broadcasters streamlined, flexible, and more secure production workflows, presenting a strategic opportunity to adapt to the evolving demands of the media and entertainment industry by incorporating solutions that increase scale and operational efficiency.

The demands from today’s audiences for high-quality viewing experiences - including Ultra High Definition (UHD) content - means cloud workflows are now fundamental to the industry’s future. But the process of balancing these evolving expectations, alongside navigating complex media ecosystems, requires a thoughtful approach. There is no one-size-fits-all response to cloud migration - each business’s implementation process is unique. It’s why savvy broadcasters are increasingly turning to strategic partners who understand their specific business needs and can act as trusted consultants to guide them in making timely and informed strategic decisions.

Delivering UHD Content Efficiently and Flawlessly

Traditional on-prem solutions have struggled to keep pace with some of the changes in broadcasting needs, particularly as new advanced video formats and codecs have emerged. The growth in demand for UHD content is one of the key trends already reshaping traditional broadcasting, and it’s spotlighting some of the limitations of traditional on-prem infrastructure. Scaling up for UHD content production workflows involves substantial hardware upgrades, including more powerful processing units and increased storage. These hardware upgrades may include installing additional servers and expanding to larger physical spaces.

On the other hand, cloud solutions offer a cost-effective alternative, providing seamless scalability for UHD content without the need for physical infrastructure expansion. By leveraging dynamic resource allocation, cloud production technologies can provide access to more advanced tools and workflows, easily scaling up or down according to the fluctuating demands of UHD content and ensuring optimal utilization without placing undue strain on the system.

Broadcasters also face substantial ongoing financial commitments to maintain and upgrade on-prem infrastructures for UHD content workflows. This demands significant technical resources and expertise, introducing operational complexities that may hinder responsiveness to dynamic broadcasting demands. The cloud’s nimble adaptation to evolving broadcasting demands ensures broadcasters can meet the challenges of UHD head-on - and do so with greater responsiveness and efficiency.

Transitioning to the cloud simplifies the UHD content management process by minimizing hardware dependencies and ensuring a viable, long-term, and flexible operation through cloud-based software updates. This cost-efficient approach empowers broadcasters to focus on content creativity and innovation by freeing up resources and technical bandwidth, offering a streamlined and economical alternative to on-premises solutions.

Keeping Up With Today’s Viewers and Ever-Growing Content Libraries

Another consideration for broadcasters is the extended setup and processing times of on-prem systems due to the need for physical configuration when implementing new workflows. This causes unacceptable delays in content production and availability and is further compounded by the increased time spent on tasks such as encoding, transcoding, and content preparation. Overall, it means slow, sub-optimal workflow execution on physical systems. The cloud, however, significantly reduces content production timelines. By leveraging advanced computing power, cloud technologies offer broadcasters high-speed processing capabilities and help accelerate these tasks for more efficient and speedy media operations.

Another area where the cloud offers significant benefits is as a response to spikes in demand or where fast-moving events require productions to adapt to workflows or scale up at short notice. The cloud’s elastic resources enable broadcasters to dynamically adapt based on content volume, output resolution, or any other factor. Furthermore, this flexibility extends to the production teams by enabling seamless remote collaboration that transcends geographical limitations and taps into global talent pools to foster an environment of enhanced productivity. Moreover, cloud technology can help streamline repetitive tasks such as automated metadata tagging and indexing, resulting in an effective media storage solution and valuable time saved for content creators that allows them to focus on the creative aspects of their work.

ITV, a prominent UK broadcaster, recognized the benefits of implementing a cloud-based archive for improved performance, flexibility, and resilience. The pressing need for cloud production technology became urgent in mid-2020, coinciding with a remote working mandate at the onset of a global pandemic. ITV required a solution compatible with existing systems for remote editing while ensuring business continuity and facilitating remote operations. The comprehensive cloud production workflow technology solutions ITV deployed replicated content recorded on-premises and was brought into the cloud with minimal disruption. As a result, the ITV team successfully migrated its substantial tape library to the cloud within 12 months.

If organizations are to embrace cloud solutions and realize the potential of a more efficient and scalable ecosystem, their operations, specifically workflows, must fundamentally change. This shift will undoubtedly give rise to experimentation with new business models, even more immersive viewing experiences, and further consolidation between industry players. To capitalize on this, media organizations must engage in open discussions with their suppliers, ensuring they work with partners prepared to innovate to solve their unique ecosystem challenges. Part of this process hinges on clearly communicating a well-defined cloud strategy and then taking the leap to implement it. Ultimately, thanks to cloud-enabled media technologies, broadcasters can work closely with their customers to create and deliver solutions designed to meet their short-, medium-, and long-term needs and expectations.

[Editor's note: This is a contributed article from Telestream. Streaming Media accepts vendor bylines based solely on their value to our readers.]

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

Top Three Reasons Why Quality Monitoring is Critical for Cloud-Native OTT Streaming

With the sharp rise in cloud migration and the increasing unwillingness of viewers to tolerate video streaming quality issues, Joel Daly of Telestream outlines the top three reasons why quality monitoring is critical for cloud-native OTT streaming.

Cloud QC and Monitoring Solutions Drive Superior Streaming Experiences

In today's video-streaming-centric world, cloud OTT monitoring solutions are vital to staying competitive and meeting the demand for high-quality video content on every screen.

Reimagining Video Delivery with the Cloud

Among all the other changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the industry, it has accelerated broadcasters' move to the cloud. That shift is only going to continue.