Why Broadcasters are going for software defined infrastructure?

Television broadcasters are slowly, but steadily starting to embrace video over IP using software-defined networks, virtualized cloud processing and software defined storage. A few top television broadcasters have switched their production operations spanning the creation and management of broadcast-specific acquisition, editing, playout, and distribution functions to intelligent servers running on software and in the private/public cloud.

It is reported that these broadcasters are doing so to reap in some cash benefits by cutting down on dedicated, broadcast only proprietary hardware such as audio/video switchers, traditional editing suites and signal routers.

ABC television has decided to move its broadcast playout, network and delivery infrastructure into the cloud using Imagine Communications VersioCloud- an IP propelled cloud playout platforms.

So, with this arrangement, ABC personnel will be able to perform their functions using IP connected desktop PCs rather than working in traditional admin control facilities.

Fox Network is also experimenting its engineering and operations field with SDNs and SDS technology. This includes seamless switching of uncompressed broadcast signals using SDNs and commercial-off-the-shelf Ethernet switches and servers. Fox has taken one step further by deploying Game Creek Video’s “Encore” production mobile, which is equipped with Evertz IP-enabled gateways and router to carry and switch more than 6,900 IP-based video channels.

Grass Valley, which belongs to the same broadcasters’ stream, is another company which has recently jumped onto SDN and SDS bandwagon.

According to recent Forbes survey, broadcasters who are still engaging in traditional forms of video production/playout are wasting million of dollars, because such functions can be carried out at low cost way by using virtualized broadcast facilities.

However, the latest economic trends say that broadcasters are likely to take their time moving to SDN based production/playout, in parts; because a paradigm shift will have such an enormous impact.

Fox Network’s engineering and Operations Vice President Thomas Edwards believes that broadcasting has changed radically changed since 40 years, where 2-inch QUAD tapes and CRTs where used for production and playout. Now, everything is being run by software and so virtualized production/playout and software defined infrastructure such software defined networks and software defined storage are ticking on the trend.

Thus, all you companies offering software defined network and storage services and products should start focusing on ways convincing these broadcasters to hand over some business to you.


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