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How edge computing is defining the future of news broadcasting

Todd Erdley, founder and president at Videon, discusses how edge computing brings new opportunities to traditional news broadcasters while staying true to their commitment to high quality and reliability

Live news has always been essential for connecting the world. But the transition of consumer news consumption to digital has caused major disruption in the traditional news broadcasting industry. Traditional broadcasters are now competing with digital platforms including Twitter and Facebook in the race for eyeballs, viewer loyalty, and ultimately monetisation. 

Long-form news production typically carried out by national broadcasters, such as CNN and the BBC, is becoming less appealing to today’s viewers. News media ratings are dropping as digital sources of information accelerate. Social channels are quickly gaining traction by offering viewers instant access to information in vignette-based formats, such as short, punchy —and typically non-produced — videos.  

However, with the right live video streaming technology, news broadcasters can turn quickly-consumed, electronic news gathering to their advantage. By taking advantage of the power of edge computing at the point of video origin, news organisations can deliver instantaneous, highly reliable live video content with very low latency and good quality, connecting their viewers with breaking news. 

Delivering news like social media but better 

There’s more remote location-based electronic news-gathering happening today than ever before. Reporters are constantly competing to break a big story first, which includes getting access to first-hand witness statements and user-generated content (UGC) as quickly as possible. Teams in the field are usually armed with technology, including Go-Pro cameras and laptops, hooked up to encoders, battling complex, costly, and inefficient workflows. These workflows typically send live video feeds with high-latency and poor quality to outside broadcasting (OB) trucks or studios.  

While, due to the instant nature of news delivery on social media, poor video quality is ‘forgiven’, consumers aren’t as willing to compromise on quality when it comes to linear news broadcasting. Now, imagine if broadcasters could deliver fast, easily accessible news with high video quality. And taking it a step further, broadcasters could be adding different metadata to these videos to make them traceable and monetiaable. This could open up a host of business models and revenue opportunities.  

Solving the live video streaming puzzle 

Teams in the field need solutions with enterprise-level functionality that simplify the live video supply chain. Bringing edge computing advantages to the point of live video origination enables a reliable, flexible, and scalable solution that enables production teams to have full control while minimising production costs. Deploying an intelligent and easily portable video compute platform in the field allows users to take tried, tested and robust cloud computing functions to the point where video is created. Live video can now be processed at the source and distributed to multiple destinations, including CDNs, live streams, etc., by combining functions running on a video compute platform with additional capabilities from the cloud. 

This has multiple benefits. An intelligent video compute platform at the video source overcomes video workflow issues that suffer from high capex and opex costs while eliminating inflexible hardware, poor reliability, and the inability to scale. Media companies can deploy the platform easily without the need for technical staff. The right video compute platform is exactly what it says on the tin — a platform. This means that users can continue to benefit from new innovative features and updates on an ongoing basis, ensuring they stay at the cutting edge of innovation in live streaming. With new digital platforms gaining traction every day, this is an important attribute for news organisations that see the competition increasing and changing format pretty much non-stop.

In addition, linear news broadcasters hold a very high standard of quality with their productions, and today’s consumers are constantly expecting better viewing quality. An enterprise-level solution for creating live news delivers video feeds of the highest quality regardless of where the content is being produced while reducing costs and latency.    

Edge computing is changing the future of live video

The paradigm shift in how today’s viewers are consuming news content can work to news broadcasters’ favour. A video compute platform that augments cloud functionality enables traditional news broadcasters to not only regain eyeballs but to also open up new monetisation opportunities. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) increasingly deployed in news-gathering, this is the perfect time for news companies to ‘uplevel’ their workflows and get ready for a new era of video metadata and analytics.

Edge computing for live video brings new opportunities to traditional news broadcasters to deliver instant video streams like social channels while staying true to their commitment for high quality and reliability. Intelligent video compute platforms will shape the future of news broadcasting and bring endless possibilities for organisations that are driven by innovation.