In Broadcast - August 2016 - 36


36

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 6 - Issue 8 | August 2016

InMedia

Command & Control Is Central
Contributing Editor Andy Stout surveys
the developments in broadcast content
management and systems control...

T

here have been many changes that
have helped shape the modern
broadcast industry over the past few
decades, but undoubtedly one of the
major ones - and a consequence of the
mass process of broadcast deregulation
that occurred worldwide has been a
huge increase in the amount of content
it has to deal with.
Consider the UK alone. In the 1970s,
three channels produced around 12
hours of primetime content per day,
whereas something in the order of
600 now pump out 2,400 hours, and
that just represents the EPG of one
pay-TV provider (Sky) in one market.
Add in Netflix, Amazon and their
OTT brethren, and the total amount
of content that had to be dealt with
every day quickly spirals up and out of
control.
Which is precisely why content
management and control is such a
serious topic throughout the industry,
especially as we've not only seen
an increase in the volume but also
the variety as we have embraced
IP workflows. Its issues affect many
different sectors, from master control
and playout, to the newsroom, to
rights management, to archive and
MAM, all of which exhibit at some time
subtly differing nuances of needs.
Ephraim Barrett is Sales Director
at Rascular. "What we've seen are
two clear trends," he says. Firstly, the
ever-increasing need for operators
to be able to control and monitor an
increasing number of channels, often
combined with a decreasing skillset;
secondly, the growing move to IP
on the production and playout side
is combined to a certain extent with
virtualisation.
He elaborates that, in terms of
the former, this is not limited to

"...Cloud is an important
option for some workflows
but a less effective
fit for others"
Lee Sheppard, SGL

the manual control of channels but
also resource management. "We've
been having conversations with
European broadcasters about this.
They raise the issue of the automated
configuration
of
ingest/playout
technologies,
modular
products
mainly. What they want is a front-end
tool that can configure devices on a
'set one, copy and use many times'
basis. Broadcasters want to be able
to set up systems so that they have
multiple cards in the chain, all doing
different things, with the correct
card(s) automatically selected prior to
ingest for the task appropriate to that
content."
Keeping Pace
It is also not a field likely to stay
still as, despite the lack of 4K from
the Olympics, the progress towards
the implementation of new formats
gathers pace.
"Ultra-high resolution media is
stretching online and near-line storage
capacity as it expands more rapidly
than storage technologies," comments
Lee Sheppard, Director of Product
Management at SGL "Therefore, the
role of the archive becomes ever
more critical. LTO tape media, cloud,
optical disk all now offer important
options for managing the balance
between storage costs and speed of
availability. Workflows are emerging
in which storage archives are not just
used for end-of-workflow storage but
as part of production activities. For
instance, direct-to-storage cameras
enable footage to be stored initially to
archival platforms until required for
production. Cloud solutions such as
Sony's Ci enable global media sharing
with archive storage being used to
balance cloud cost requirements."
Cautious Migration
Over at Cinegy, MD and Co-Founder,
Daniella Weigner, is confident about
the 4K future, the 8K future and, as
the company has been broadly hinting
at, even the whatever K future beyond
that. For the current climate though,
the cloud inevitably looms rather
largely.
"I would say that rack rooms will

Rascular's Mediant-AM provides schedule-based
automated branding media management

increasingly be used for storage,"
she says when asked about the future
evolution of the on-premises vs the
cloud argument. "And I mean just that:
storage for rusting tin boxes that will
eventually be swapped for cheaper,
faster tin. A hybrid approach is also
a great way of migrating towards
virtualisation - we can basically
support many degrees of business
models - from the ageing grande
dames to those seeking eternal
youth in the cloud. But the clever and
interesting stuff will happen in the
software and IP domains. It'll cease to
matter where the boxes actually are..."
This attitude is very much mirrored
by Barrett: "It doesn't matter whether
it's software or hardware, virtualised
or on the premises - control is
control."
James Gilbert of Pixel Power is one
of those tending to tread a slightly
more cautious path into the cloudy
future, reasoning that local production
involving SDI will be with us for some
time yet.
"Virtualisation is key, not cloud," he
states. "The cloud isn't for everybody
and premium 24/7 channels will not
likely move there any time soon.
Business models dictate whether
cloud makes sense, however, flexibility
of operations versus costs will
heavily influence. How much risk a
broadcaster wants to take versus cost/
flexibility will be the deciding factor on
whether to build virtualised workflows
on-premises, in a datacentre or in the
cloud."
He also points out that there are
some false expectations abroad

and that just because a channel can
now launch using standard IT and
commodity hardware, that does not
mean that the software elements of
broadcast solutions are any cheaper.
This is not the sort of stuff you can
download from an App Store.
Sheppard, meanwhile, sees the
future as being one of hybrid solutions.
"My assessment is that the cloud is an
important option for some workflows
but a less effective fit for others,"
he says. "For large-scale archived
content storage, the TCO cost will be
much higher than an LTO7 on-premise
library, especially when high-retrieval
levels are required. In addition, pipe
limitations are always a consideration
when working out concurrent asset
retrieval requirements. The market
is moving to a hybrid content storage
model rather than purely to cloud.
Case-By-Case
It will be interesting to see how these
arguments shape up at IBC. There are
always those willing to proselytise
the introduction of a new production
paradigm, while others hang back and
favour a more pragmatic approach.
That said, the cloud in relation to
content management and control
is undoubtedly going to be a major
talking point at the show, with some

"...Virtualised or
on the premises -
control is control"
Ephraim Barrett,
Rascular


http://www.inbroadcast.com http://www.rascular.com/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - August 2016

In Broadcast - August 2016 - Intro
In Broadcast - August 2016 - Cover1
In Broadcast - August 2016 - Cover2
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 3
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 4
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 5
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 6
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 7
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 8
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 9
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 10
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 11
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 12
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 13
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 14
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 15
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 16
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 17
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 18
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 19
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 20
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 21
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 22
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 23
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 24
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 25
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 26
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 27
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 28
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 29
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 30
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 31
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 32
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 33
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 34
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 35
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 36
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 37
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 38
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 39
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 40
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 41
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 42
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 43
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 44
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 45
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 46
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 47
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 48
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 49
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 50
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 51
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 52
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 53
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 54
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 55
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 56
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 57
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 58
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 59
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 60
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 61
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 62
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 63
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 64
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 65
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 66
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 67
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 68
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 69
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 70
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 71
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 72
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 73
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In Broadcast - August 2016 - 75
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 76
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 77
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 78
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 79
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 80
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 81
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 82
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 83
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 84
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S1
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S2
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S3
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S4
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S5
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S6
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S7
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S8
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S9
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S10
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S11
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S12
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S13
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