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BT takes ITV and Channel 4’s Freeview channels into the cloud

D3&4 is using BT Media and Broadcast's smart broadcasting network Vena to deliver digital coding and multiplexing

BT and Digital 3&4 (D3&4) have worked together to move processing for ITV and Channel 4’s terrestrial Freeview channels into the cloud.

D3&4 is a joint venture company established by ITV and Channel 4 which operates a multiplex broadcasting from a number of transmitter sites in the UK.

The project involved BT switching on start-to-finish cloud processing for regionalised TV content across all of D3&4’s Freeview channels – ready for distribution to 28 regions across the UK. The development marks a landmark move away from legacy hardware to a smart broadcast network, said the companies.

Moving processing to the cloud improves overall operational efficiency, cuts costs, lowers energy consumption, and enhances flexibility for both production and distribution, they added. It is the first time that cloud processing of digital terrestrial TV channels has been completed on this scale.

D3&4 is now using BT Media and Broadcast’s smart broadcasting network Vena to deliver digital coding and multiplexing, essentially combining multiple content streams into one before distribution regionally. It takes content from six playout centres, distributing it to nations and regions across the UK via two of BT’s data centres. In addition, BT is providing a full end-to-end, round-the-clock monitoring service from its International Media Operations Centre.

The new network also leverages Ateme’s virtualised software video processing and delivery solutions.

Faisal Mahomed, director of BT Media and Broadcast and Portfolio Businesses, said: “This launch marks a major development for the TV industry as a whole. It will offer more possibilities for broadcasters to connect and interact with their audiences. We have seen remarkable innovation and collaboration across BT, D3&4 and our partner Ateme to get to this point.

“The service, built on Vena, is only the start of what’s possible on BT’s smart broadcast network – as we continue to drive digitisation, and to innovate solutions to support TV delivery in the UK and across the globe.”

Greg Bensberg MBE, managing director at Digital 3&4 Limited, added: “Our partnership with BT has enabled us to take a giant leap forward in delivering Freeview TV for 18 million regular viewers across the UK. This was a challenging project that required meticulous planning and execution, and we’re proud to have worked with a company that shares our passion for innovation and excellence. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with BT and driving the future of broadcasting in the UK.”