Systems integration is at the core of Miller’s concept of the new television ecosystem.
“To do something transformational, you have to build it,” Miller explained, quickly adding that the process requires “an effective supply chain” and a constant awareness of “the creative processes.”
“You need all that system visibility to drive workflow in order to become a more efficient business,” he added. “Our goal has been to develop things that [expand] the creative process.” For the multiplatform, internationally based Discovery media network, that has necessitated a “single technical approach” to consolidate its digital and traditional platforms.
“The content factory is providing material for all the distribution platforms,” he explained. That requires integration throughout media operations, including ad sales systems, marketing systems, software development and more, Miller added.
“The next big thing is determining how to bring in new tools for production, including machine vision,” Miller predicted. “A lot of our focus will be on the live production process, including machine learning.”
In his 15 years at Discovery, Miller has supervised the design and construction of its production facility and broadcast center and manages day-to-day operations across Discovery’s North American production and broadcast facilities. He also oversees the company’s Global Media Engineering, R&D and IT Development teams.
“People think we pioneered the move to the cloud; [we’ve seen it as] a means to an end,” he said. “We didn’t just want to lift and shift to the cloud. We wanted to reimagine how we do it.”
Miller believes the “monumental shift” toward digital platforms has been “the big disrupter,” which is driving the reimagining throughout the media technology business.
Miller foresees continuing growth of cloud services in all segments of the TV industry, including live news and sports. That’s a vital factor given Discovery’s sizeable ownership role in Eurosport and news in Eastern Europe.
“As a tech leader in the industry, we had a jump start,” Miller explained. “We started our shift about three to four years before others,” he said. “We struggled like others with the stack and bringing everything together.” He cited the process of identifying appropriate technology, automation and advanced tools to get content onto “all those screens,” and the “elegance of software” as a primary tool in the transformation.
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