There really is only one key theme for 2016 across the broadcast industry – a term that itself is in danger of irrelevance – and that of course is the coming of IP on the playout and production side. Playout is precisely where our technology sits.
In combination with IP there’s the growing possibilities of virtualisation, of being able to rent technology in the cloud for as long or as short a period as you want. That’s one of the likely benefits.
You’ve probably read and heard quite a lot by now about IP and what it means for us so for the rest of this blog we’re going to look at what 2016 has meant for our subsector: control, monitoring and secondary event management.
What we’ve seen are two clear trends: firstly, the ever-increasing need for operators to be able to control and monitor an increasing number of channels, often combined with a decreasing skillset; secondly, the growing move to IP on the production and playout side combined with virtualisation.
In terms of the former, this is not limited to the manual control of channels but also resource management. We’ve had conversations with European broadcasters about this. They raise the issue of the automated configuration of ingest/playout technologies, modular products mainly as they want to be able to easily repeat ingest tasks, for example, using a simple operator interface without having to move or replace kit in an engineering room. We have the ability to solve this issue for broadcasters.
Secondly, IP on the production side as the central protocol is a paradigm shift and it’s happening now: we all need to look at how that potentially changes our subsector. In terms of control, it doesn’t matter whether it’s software or hardware, virtualised or on the premises, control is control. Operators require immediate access to the specific functions that they need at the touch of a button.
When it comes to virtualised playout technologies, the same issues surround control as in the physical world: operators have to be able to press a button on a screen and know that it will do precisely what they want, immediately. Users still need to make things happen in a time-critical universe. At this point, software designers are having to focus on getting the main functionality of their product correct, not on wider issues like control.
As software designers, we are working towards integration possibilities with a variety of live playout encoder manufacturers exploring the “orchestration” requirements around their products. How can you create an integrated control environment across broadcast and streaming requirements? That’s the question we are answering. To discuss this further and to find out how we can help you, contact us now and we’ll chat through your requirements.