Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share
07/11/2018

Invisible Infrastructure: The Future Of Live Production

News Image
There is a certain thrill to watching something on screen that's unfolding live, in real-time in a completely different part of the world. This is one of the reasons why global sporting and entertainment events regularly draw in billions of viewers. Take the most recent major global football tournament, for example. An estimated 3.4 billion people watched some or all of the matches live in front of their TVs, laptops or even off their smartphones according to research company GlobalWebIndex. That’s nearly half of the world's total population.

But as consumers' appetite for high-quality live content continues to grow, so do the challenges media companies face when capturing, distributing and broadcasting these events en masse.

Historically, live production set ups have always been reliant on physical infrastructure. Wired connections, a convoy of expensive OB trucks, mobile galleries and power generators, not to mention armies of talented creatives and technicians. Regardless of the size or scale of event, high-quality live production has always been kit-hungry, required major upfront investment and has been largely the domain of big broadcasters.

Cloudy with a chance of widespread adoption
Yet with cloud technologies systematically changing how content is produced, distributed, played out and stored, broadcasters and content creators are fast being released from the shackles of costly physical infrastructure. The catalyst for this transformation is the rise of high-quality, reliable and affordable cloud-based broadcasting solutions.

These solutions provide media companies with the opportunity to reduce expenditure and resources for live production set ups, while offering virtually unlimited scalability for meeting peak demands in processing the growing size and complexity of digital content. In short, they help take the friction out of production workflows to get content to audiences faster and in more exciting ways.

Many international organisations have already successfully migrated all or part of their operations to the cloud, adapting their offering to the needs of modern audiences. From Swiss broadcaster SRG SSR, which is using a cloud-based news production platform across all its broadcasting centres in Switzerland, to Disney/ABC Television Group, which has moved all of their broadcast operations to an IP based ‘virtual master control’ as early as 2015, to Netflix, which completed the migration of its streaming system to AWS in January 2016. This is a reminder than while cloud production is sometimes seen to be a new and untested system, there is clear precedent of industry leaders already successfully adopting these methods.

The next generation of cloud-based solutions
As adoption of cloud-based solutions is growing, the capabilities of these solutions are evolving too. Thanks to a new breed of cloud production tools, we’re rapidly seeing the principles of remote working we enjoy in our everyday working lives being translated to the production world. It is now possible for content creators to create and stream broadcast quality content from virtually anywhere in the world. All they really need is a single laptop, some camcorders and a virtual switcher in the cloud.

The ability to create, collaborate on and share content in real-time with production teams anywhere in the world is a level of agility that simply cannot be achieved by traditional production methods. But importantly, cloud-based workflows are more efficient and cost-effective too. Organisations like the Locarno Film Festival have shifted to a cloud-based production solution and seen a cost saving of 30% when compared to traditional production workflows. Equally, Red Bull has recently deployed such a solution to capture and broadcast its Alpenbrevet motorcycle race, which takes place across multiple remote locations in the Swiss Alps, live to its website and social media feeds.

A cloud-enabled future
By no means are we saying the traditional Live Production is dead, not yet. There are still high end productions, like big sporting events, where cloud based solutions wouldn’t be able to deliver the same results. But this won’t be the case forever – media companies and broadcasters have reached a crossroads. There is a choice to be made: adapt to a changing media landscape and adopt these innovative technologies now or stick with the physical infrastructure, workflows and processes that have served them well thus far but will become obsolete before long. While traditional physical workflows continue to be an unquestionable staple of our industry, the old adage of 'if you are not moving forward, you are moving backwards' certainly applies.

With viewing habits changing, globalisation of media increasing exponentially and user expectations shifting, media organisations need to embrace new technologies and services that increase content value and engage audiences in new and exciting ways if they want to stay relevant. While it may seem like a leap into the unknown, cloud technologies are an established part of the future production value-chain. Media organisations should start embracing these technologies today if they want to stay relevant and remain competitive tomorrow.
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

15/05/2019
Discovery Deutschland To Use MX1's Managed Media And Distribution Services
Discovery Deutschland, a TV and digital media broadcast station based in Munich, Germany, is to use MX1's managed media and distribution services to d
09/05/2019
Film Locker To Expand Media And Marketing Team
Film Locker have had an exceptionally busy start to 2019, with the addition of new clients in both the advertising and broadcast space. The firm is no
14/05/2019
Sony Creates Intelligent Media Services
Sony has created a new division, Intelligent Media Services (IMS), dedicated to Sony's continued acceleration of its solutions and services offering i
14/05/2019
Gravity Media Group Appoints New Head Of Technology
Gravity Media Group (GMG) has appointed John Currie as its Head of Technology. In the new role, John will be responsible for the research and implemen
13/05/2019
Carousel Digital Signage Adds Media Player Support
Carousel Digital Signage has added media player support for Mersive Solstice, allowing users to simplify the management of digital signage content in
03/04/2019
Production News : BBC Secures Live Premier League Radio Rights
The BBC has secured live Premier League radio rights for a further three seasons, ensuring listeners can follow the biggest games and best match cover
27/01/2016
Production News : ITV To Air First-Ever Live TV Production Of GREASE: LIVE
Paramount Television's star-studded production of GREASE: LIVE is to be broadcast in the UK by ITV2. ITV will air the first-ever live television produ
08/04/2019
Innovative Live Graphics Application To Debut At NAB
Stream My Event is set to debut its new software-based live graphics application, Holographics, which addresses the issue of pricing models by filling
14/09/2010
SGO Launches Mistika Live At IBC
SGO has launched Mistika Live, its powerful new stereoscopic 3D production tool at IBC 2010. Mistika Live was recently used in the impressive live ste
15/05/2017
Telestream Announces Latest Version Of Lightspeed Live Stream
Telestream has announced the latest version of Lightspeed Live Stream, its enterprise-class live multiscreen encoding, packaging and distribution syst
02/10/2017
NFTS Opens 4K Digital Content Training Studio & Hub
The National Film and Television School (NFTS) officially opens the Sony Gallery, which is located in its ground-breaking 4K Digital Content Training
08/03/2011
On Sight Takes SGO's New Stereoscopic 3D On-Set System Mistika Live To Start of Production Workflow
On Sight, a production services company specialising in stereo 3D equipment, rental and post production services, has invested in Mistika Live, SGO's
05/03/2013
SIS LIVE And RRsat Provide Global Broadcasting Of Live Sports Events
SIS LIVE has announced that it has entered into an agreement with RRsat to provide international sports distribution solutions for the Asian market. T
24/06/2016
Imagine Communications Provides Support For IP Live Studio
Imagine Communications recently participated in the launch of Sony's IP Live Studio at its Digital Motion Picture Centre Europe (DMPCE), located at Pi
25/04/2019
LiveU's Streaming Technology To Power Live Studio Show
LiveU's live streaming technology will be powering the live studio show at next month's TNW2019 (The Next Web) for TNW's editorial team, in partnershi