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ITV moves simulcast delivery to the cloud with AWS

ITV Hub has now moved a majority of its video processing and transport into the cloud

UK broadcaster ITV has refreshed its platform for delivering simulcast channels with cloud-based technology from Amazon Web Services (AWS).

ITV’s live streaming platform provides six linear channels for ITV Hub as well as directly to third-party distribution channels such as Amazon Prime.

Having previously employed 15 on-premise encoders, ITV Hub has now moved a majority of its video processing and transport into the cloud with the help of AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaConnect.

The move is part of the broadcaster’s initiative to embrace a more cloud-native infrastructure for greater flexibility in developing and deploying new approaches to content distribution while reducing its data centre footprint.

The updated platform is distributed across two playout centres in the UK, which provide the six ITV channels for satellite and terrestrial transmission, and to the live streaming platform encoders. The AWS Elemental Live encoders process the incoming HD SDI video into contribution quality transport streams at 25 Mbps, which are then received in the cloud by MediaConnect.

MediaLive then transcodes the feeds into three adaptive bitrate variants for PC, mobile and connected TV devices. This cloud path is across multiple Availability Zones for added resilience. Additional stream processing provides packaging to HLS and DASH, digital rights management (DRM), advert replacement conditioning, and distribution via CDN.

Every component has full 1:1 redundancy, from on-premises to workflows in AWS, enabling the live streams to continue in the event of site or individual equipment failure. In addition to relying on MediaLive and MediaConnect to detect any potential failures and facilitate a rapid recovery, the team deployed a new generation of AWS Elemental encoders, which allowed ITV to retire older encoders at its data centre.

“The volume of technology that AWS is continuously rolling out is impressive, and as new services emerge, we’re looking at how we might implement them to improve our workflows, whether using AI to detect missing advert markers or creating regional stream variations in the cloud,” said Andrew Pearson, principal solutions architect, Content Supply and Distribution, ITV. “By building our video workflow on AWS, there are all sorts of improvements that we will be able to implement in the coming years.”