There was a time when the mere mention of bringing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning into the media industry brought visions of robots replacing humans. Today that is certainly not the case—although we might be getting close: I saw a robotic camera operator move the cameras for a national television news show from his converted kitchen table. On-air, viewers never saw a difference from the programs they always watch.
Broadcasting video and audio has rapidly developed from the send-and-forget type transmission to the full duplex OTT and VOD models in recent years. The inherent bi-directional capabilities of IP networks have provided viewers with a whole load of new interactive viewing possibilities.
The features we love about OTT services – such as combined linear and on-demand content, multi-device viewing mobility, tailored viewing experiences, and in some cases better resolutions – are driving the general rapid uptake of OTT services.
The power and flexibility of cloud computing is being felt by broadcasters throughout the world. Scaling delivers incredible resource and the levels of resilience available from international public cloud vendors is truly eye watering. It’s difficult to see how any broadcaster would run out of computing power or storage, even with 4K and 8K infrastructures.
Over the past year, as broadcasters and production companies have expended great effort to reconfigure their workflows and develop new ways of working amid strict safety protocols, so too have the manufacturers of the technology and systems they rely on.
A core promise of OTT is greater customer satisfaction through a more personalised viewing experience. Instead of linear channels with scheduled content that we may or may not be interested in, OTT enables us to combine tailored VOD and Live content into a single viewing window. This specific personalised viewing dynamic tunes the experience more precisely for a consumer which in turn increases commercial value for advertisers and OTT operators. We should expect a win-win-win for consumer, advertiser and content provider.
Telco fixed access networks are “the last mile” to homes and commercial buildings. They play a key role in the delivery of OTT Video, and are undergoing big changes to support its growth. Telco fixed access networks were originally built in the 19th century to deliver telegraph services, evolving during the 20th century into telephone services. Today they provide vital telecommunications services supporting all aspects of a nation’s life including government, business, education and entertainment. Companies in this sector include the likes of British Telecom, Telecom Italia and AT&T. Over the last 30 years, the voice-first PSTN network has evolved to support data services over broadband, and today telco’s are deploying new data-first access networks.