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TV 2 DANMARK Scales Streaming Service TV 2 PLAY Using AWS

(08 Nov 2022)

Since the advent of television in the 1920s, broadcasters have continuously reinvented themselves in the face of change ­­– from the analog to digital transition to the rise of connected TV (CTV). The latter prompted broadcasters like TV 2 DANMARK (TV 2) to expand its offerings to support live and on-demand content consumption across a range of CTV devices via services like TV 2 PLAY. The streaming platform grew from 400,000 to more than 900,000 subscribers in just two years and is expected to reach 1.3 million subscribers by 2025. Recognizing the importance of scalability and reliability in accommodating this growth, the TV 2 teams transitioned from on-premises to cloud infrastructure with the help of Amazon Web Services (AWS). This new foundation has helped TV 2 accelerate its transformation from entertainment provider to technological innovator.

“TV 2 is already integral to Danish households, so we wanted to be sure we had the right pipes in place to support our growth. AWS offerings are extensive and provide a strong shoulder for our team to stand on,” said Rahul Yadav, Chief Technology and Digital Officer. “Our new infrastructure has helped our team establish a solid workflow and improve the viewer experience by enabling us to rapidly turn around frame-accurate live content for on-demand viewing, so our subscribers don’t miss a beat. It’s also allowing us to reach our goal of becoming a technical hub for innovation where bright minds in tech can thrive.”

TV 2’s live-to-VOD workflow leverages AWS Elemental Live video encoding technology to create a clean feed of broadcast content from an SDI source with SCTE 104 markers indicating program start and end timecodes. Elemental Live decorates the HLS manifest with SCTE35 markers it decodes from the SCTE 104 markers, and the feed is then written as HLS, an HTTP-based adaptive bitrate streaming communications protocol, to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). An AWS Lambda function parses the manifest and transfers segments between program start and end markers to another Amazon S3 bucket. Programs are then transcoded via AWS Elemental MediaConvert to deliver frame-accurate live-to-VOD assets.   

“TV 2 prides itself on delivering live and near-live content that brings us Danes together, and our technical teams and infrastructure play a big role in that. More than fifty percent of our customers are live users. However, when a viewer misses the evening news or the start of a major sports match at 5pm and wants to catch a replay, they need to be able to catch up as soon as possible. AWS allows us to deliver near-instant access to live content for on-demand viewing,” explains Rahul.

Generating VOD files previously took TV 2 up to three hours, and with AWS, it can deliver them immediately. The infrastructure has also helped TV 2 accelerate ingest and transcoding of new content libraries for its VOD platform while enhancing the overall quality of the content it distributes. Rahul shares, “We’re increasingly transcoding large volumes of content from libraries we acquire and ramping up our video quality. With AWS, we can make that content available via VOD more rapidly to improve the overall platform experience for subscribers.”

Since shifting to AWS, Rahul has also realized scalability, stability, and flexibility improvements. He adds, “Live is live, and when you’ve invested in sports rights, you can’t afford to have your service go down in the middle of a major match. With AWS, we’ve achieved higher uptime, nearly 99.999%.”

Looking ahead, TV 2 will continue to focus on improving the subscriber experience. Rahul and TV 2 are exploring how to expand the use of machine learning and the tools AWS provides to improve custom viewer profiles and real-time content recommendations. He concludes, “Our collaboration with AWS has grown significantly in the last two years, as we are implementing more parts of AWS Media Services. We are just getting started, and we expect to leverage more AWS services as we continue to expand our digital architecture.”  

For more details about the AWS for M&E Services TV 2 is using, visit: https://aws.amazon.com/media/