When implemented by experts the cloud playout can indeed offer significant benefits to TV networks. However, to maximize their gains TV networks need to carefully examine the cloud playout service offering. How well the playout vendor answers security and administrative concerns can be a good way to judge the solution. Here are the top five factors that TV networks need to watch out for while selecting a cloud playout vendor.
A cloud based model can help TV networks escape the ‘annual contract trap’ of the legacy broadcast models. However, even in a cloud playout model, it’s possible to end up paying more than required. For example, a new cloud instance could be required for only a week, but the minimum contract term could be for a month or 15 days. Also, sometimes a cloud instance could be added automatically as per usage, but may not be removed without explicit instructions, and end up inflating the costs. TV networks may also need to check if the playout vendor offers the option of an Edge playout supported by cloud. Although it can increase the hardware costs, the remote playout option can be immensely useful to monetize a culturally diverse market.
Public vs. Private Cloud
A service level agreement with enterprise grade support is a must when it comes to selecting a media cloud. Since public cloud providers such as AWS offer better SLAs compared to the privately managed cloud and have well developed response matrix, TV networks can expect quicker resolution to tickets with minimum down time. It’s also easier to scale up using a public cloud.
Broadcast industry is undergoing tectonic shifts in era of Over the top (OTT) streaming services. As TV networks expand rapidly to new geographies or start newer services, scalability becomes the pivotal issue. To instantly spin off new channels, or even to take them off-air, TV networks need to select a cloud playout service that is flexible, allowing higher scalability.
Ease of Use
Another important aspect that should be considered by the TV networks, is the ease of use of the User Interface. A truly cloud playout system should have an integrated dashboard for all functions such as content ingesting, scheduling, integrating third party services, and more. Managing separate applications to access each aspect of playout management can be cumbersome and result in loss of productivity.
Last, but not the least, increasing vulnerability to external threats is a major concern that has to be addressed by the cloud playout. SSL transcription, ability to virtually isolate instances, and enterprise grade user management with role-based permission are some of the features TV networks should look for when selecting a cloud playout.
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