Broadcast Beat Magazine September, 2015 - Page 88

Join in any conversation with broadcast professionals and you will likely hear a mix of excitement and apprehension about the future of the industry. There is no question that the evolving video delivery landscape brings new opportunities. However like all good things, it also brings its own set of challenges. We have witnessed a fundamental shift of power in the TV landscape; power once owned by the broadcaster transitioning completely to the consumer for viewing decisions. In a changing and increasingly competitive video landscape, the broadcast business proposition is hugely impacted.

The new habits of TV consumption, including the accessibility to stream content at any time, anywhere, has taken viewing decisions away from the broadcaster and put it into the hands of consumers. This evolution brings increased competition from not only traditional players, but also new OTT offerings. Add in factors of piracy concerns and regulatory compliance responsibility, as well as new advertising and monetization models, and the many moving parts can be overwhelming.

Control begins at the Origin

Broadcasters’ reach within the IP delivery system chain is limited. In most cases, content is handed off to other ecosystem players prematurely, to complete vital processing functions before the actual delivery of content to viewers. As a result, beyond initial content capture/creation and primary encoding functions, the broadcaster has zero control of delivery. In order to stay relevant and competitive a re-evaluation of its position and reach in the video delivery workflow is essential.

Re-capturing control starts with taking back ownership of the Origin. The functions of a modern video Origin go way beyond a first stage encode/transcode function. Origin functions include video ingest, recording, re-packaging, playout, content protection and encryption to name but a few, yet many of these vital processing functions have been passed over to third party delivery partners. When a CDN becomes a processing point as opposed to a classic CDN delivery mechanism, control, visibility and quality measurement capabilities are lost. These are vital capabilities in ensuring a best in class delivery over IP and cost effectiveness.

Taking control of the Origin, in the traditional sense, is not typically conducive to a broadcaster’s business model. However, a cost-effective hardware- accelerated and software-defined option can deliver significant capex and opex savings, while allowing easy expansion as services evolve. The key is consolidation. A consolidated origination platform collapses traditional Origin components into single operating unit. This means less equipment and less infrastructure maintenance costs, while opening up extensive revenue expansion opportunities – essentially empowering the broadcaster by allowing it to see more and do more within head end delivery processes. A local Origin of this nature provides the control, visibility, and measurement capabilities that are essential in monitoring CDN delivery effectiveness and cost further downstream.



IBC Issue September 2015