Cloud production could help reduce costs and give content producers greater flexibility

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At IBC 2022, Agile Content showcased its Cloud Production solution which allows broadcasters to replace their traditional broadcast stack with a cloud-based application stack, enabling remote production over a standard internet connection.

Johan Bolin, CTO of Agile, explained the basic concept: “We have developed a solution where we can capture video from professional cameras and consumer devices, send all camera feeds to the cloud, then perform channel mixing – which involves selecting which camera stream to use, adding graphics and mixing audio – in the public cloud.

“It takes raw camera feeds, audio streams and microphones and offers editorial apps that can be used to create a TV channel.”

He noted that the solution became even more salient during the pandemic when remote production became necessary. By combining professional cameras with traditional consumer devices, such as smartphones, the use of fixed or mobile Internet access to the cloud made it possible to produce real-time content without having to send a film crew.

Bolin also explained how cloud production could happen over a standard internet connection.

He said: “We take the signal from all the cameras and create two versions of the video: a low bitrate and a very low latency version. This version doesn’t look as good, but then we create another version with high bitrate but longer latency. Everyone who edits the programming works with the low resolution version with low latency.

Bolin clarified that this allows remote production with multiple camera feeds to occur even over a 10-15 megabit per second internet connection.

He noted that the typical approach broadcasters take to production could be cost inefficient and waste resources, saying the optimal approach is to start by determining what experience broadcasters want the viewer to experience. ait when it consumes the content, and then backtracking to select the correct Technology.

He gave the example of Swedish broadcaster SVT producing shows specifically for online video platforms Twitch and TikTok. Bolin said, “These productions have completely different video quality settings for various reasons, and because they know the bitrate at the end will be lower anyway. They know that the content will be shown on different types of screens, rather than primarily on TV.

“They may know that the color settings and how the user wants the edit to be done is different because when you watch something on Twitch you expect a different type of creation than what you watch on your living room TV. You want that flexibility and our end-to-end perspective provides it. “

Bolin described how Cloud Production fits into a holistic glass-to-glass solution that includes Agile Content’s SaaS solution and all the components needed to create and distribute a pay-TV or streaming service – such as a content management system. subscribers, packagers, a CDN, as well as apps and even devices.

He noted that while customers tend not to adopt the entire glass-to-glass solution, they appreciate the modularity of working with different components of the technology stack. He said: “Being glass to glass doesn’t add technical value. What this adds is experience and knowledge for us so that we know all the processes in an end-to-end delivery model. It gives us a different perspective, which starts with the consumer, when we create production solutions. »

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