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Surge in IP delivery and remote production set to continue in 2022

Jared Timmins, SVP Solutions at TVU Networks, takes a look at how SaaS, IP and remote production will develop in 2022

As we head into an uncertain 2022, it’s worth glancing back at the year that was in search of lessons learned and to forecast our future priorities. Both 2020 and 2021 were clearly atypical times, so it makes sense that our own research produced clear and dramatic trends.

Increase in SaaS and IP delivery

Our internal analysis saw a 243 per cent increase in SaaS usage over 2020. This past year as well as the second half of 2020 saw an accelerated migration of the entire media supply chain to the cloud, including remote production and delivery. If 2022 repeats similar patterns from 2021, we are sure of the increased usage of SaaS by all business sectors, including media, sports, and entertainment. 

Last year also saw IP network delivery solidify its place as the preferred content distribution method for the media and entertainment industry, with a 20 per cent increase in usage of the TVU Grid IP-based video switching, routing and distribution solution compared to 2020. 

Based on our experience, those who attempt to merely duplicate terrestrial models in the cloud will struggle, while those implementing service-based, cloud-native solutions will adapt and evolve within existing workflows. This progression will only pick up pace throughout 2022 as customers realise the benefits of adopting cloud-based solutions: lower cost, faster to air, increased flexibility and greater monetisation opportunities. 

Broadcast’s Broad Reach

Media workflows and the utilisation of broadcast tools sets are becoming universal across industry verticals. The challenges within broadcast and OTT are directly extensible to all verticals that are adopting media workflows. The distinctions of broadcast and OTT become less relevant as these tools are used broadly across a wide range of industries.

As an example, there’s our new cloud-based playout solution, TVU Channel. It was initially designed for a huge broadcaster, but it can be used by any organisation looking to create a specialised video channel. TVU Channel allows anyone to launch and manage their own live and VOD content channels from a simple web browser without any infrastructure. Because it’s cloud-based, TVU Channel can be deployed easily without complicated licensing or configuration.

Currently, a major TV broadcaster has deployed the platform for a new channel’s programme playout and as the backup channel for their existing on-premise channel to protect against any unexpected disruption. 

Remote Production Gains

Our customers are producing live, cloud-based broadcasts every day. From live news, live events, award shows, cooking shows – all without reliance on on-prem, legacy equipment. We’ve had solutions that address this for at least two years such as with our TVU RPS synchronised multi-camera remote production and cloud-based live production tool, TVU Producer.

Remote production gained significant traction and is now seen as a solid and more cost-effective alternative to in-studio and on-location production. Virtualisation has become so advanced that every large-scale production uses cloud-based tools to some extent. Who’s touching what equipment for remote production is being completely re-imagined. Live, remote production environment is a collaboration. Our customers are living this day to day, producing broadcast grade, digital and social programming through this approach. 

Content Drives Design

Video usage experienced a meteoric rise as evidenced by media organisations using a TVU content distribution platform to manage and distribute their video content. Content creators helped propel a nearly 752 per cent increase in hours of downloaded video in 2021, using AI- and cloud-based TVU Search. 

Covid kicked off a User-Generated content revolution in 2021. It enabled us to introduce the concept of community production where anyone from anywhere can collaborate in the cloud in real time and produce new kinds of content. This transition marks the epoch from which we shifted to talent being the new operator and to audience being part of the creative process moving forward.

In response to much of the insight above as well as consistent customer feedback, we’re focused on creating a comprehensive set of microservices that allow us to construct Lego-style solutions for our customers. TVU is just entering a post-product period where the services we’ve constructed can be uniquely assembled to solve new operational and technical challenges. This micro app approach can be compiled into new products like TVU Channel and TVU Remote Commentator, which allows sports producers and event organisers to add synchronised, real time audio commentary using an Internet connection. 

With TVU Remote Commentator, on-air talent can join the production from anywhere. The cloud-based videoconferencing platform, TVU Partyline, allows producers to run a virtual event of any size from a single platform over an IP network. And our mobile broadcasting app, TVU Anywhere, as an extension to TVU Partyline, turning a smart phone into high-quality live video delivery device. But our solutions are no longer relegated to be product centric. 

If 2021 was an indicator of how fast things progress, I believe 2022 could blow the doors off what we’ve seen so far. Of one thing I’m sure, the cloud is here to stay – in broadcast and beyond.