NAB Show Exhibitor Insight — Harmonic

TV TECH: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trends at the 2023 NAB Show?

GIL RUDGE: A key trend for the media and entertainment industry is the migration to the cloud. At the 2023 NAB Show, there will be a heightened focus on how cloud-based solutions are improving workflow efficiencies and monetization for video service providers. In particular, we expect to see advancements in cloud and hybrid playout solutions. 

Gil Rudge

(Image credit: Harmonic)

We’re also seeing significant innovation with ad tech. Advanced targeted advertising, especially server-side ad insertion (SSAI), is becoming increasingly important for streaming services, with even large players adding ad-supported services after previously saying they wouldn’t do so.

The total addressable market for SSAI is growing at more than 30 percent CAGR. Therefore, we expect SSAI to be a major component for any streaming application that wants to improve monetization going forward.

ATSC 3.0 deployments are accelerating, so there will be a buzz around NextGen TV solutions at the show. With cloud software solutions, broadcasters can usher in a new era of interactive, personalized, and user-oriented broadcast television on top of the standard Over the Air (OTA) transmission.

TVT: What will be your most important product news?

RUDGE: At the 2023 NAB Show, Harmonic is taking video to the next level with innovations in SSAI and cloud playout. During the show, we’ll unveil an exciting new solution for ad insertion that supports individual addressable advertising at scale, helping video service providers improve monetization for a variety of streaming applications, including live sports, FAST, linear and VOD 

Additionally, we will demonstrate innovative capabilities as well as an expanded ecosystem for cloud playout that supports a wide range of video streaming and broadcast workflows to simplify the delivery of services to consumers globally.

As the number of ATSC 3.0 deployments increase in the United States, Harmonic will show how it is leading the charge for NextGen TV with our XOS advanced media processor.

TVT: How is your new product different from what’s available on the market?

RUDGE: Our new ad insertion offering is the industry’s first mature solution for delivering individually addressable advertising at scale. It is backed by Harmonic’s worldwide team of DevOps experts, simplifying integration and deployment in even the most challenging workflows like low-latency sports streaming.

Harmonic’s DevOps team provides 24/7 monitoring for our cloud platform to ensure the highest service availability. The success of our DevOps team was illustrated during last year’s World Cup, when a major Latin American OTT operator used the VOS360 video SaaS platform to stream matches with low latency to over a million concurrent viewers. The VOS360 platform provided a streaming latency matching broadcast and closer to real time than local competitive streaming services.

While some video platforms are just a service running in the cloud, Harmonic offers a fully orchestrated cloud-native solution that supports the entire media workflow. Our solution can run on our customers’ cloud accounts or run as a full SaaS with cloud included. No one else in the market has such a robust offering that has been tested to scale by customers for the most important and demanding events in the world.

On the playout front, our offering is one of the most comprehensive and innovative on the market. We offer the most reliable and feature-rich on-premise playout solutions with Spectrum X and cutting-edge, cloud-based broadcast playout with VOS360, both of which are controlled by multiple automation and traffic systems. At the NAB Show, we will also introduce new ways to automate channel schedules and reduce the cost of launching linear and FAST channels through new partnerships in conjunction with VOS360.  

TVT: NAB Show is celebrating its centennial this year. How many NAB Shows have you been to and do you have any particular standout memories of past shows?

RUDGE: My first NAB was nearly 20 years ago. Attending as an engineer, it was the most memorable show for me. I was able to see the breadth and size of our industry for the first time, interacting with vendors and customers. Over the past two decades, it’s been amazing to watch the industry’s growth and its adoption of new technologies. It’s also been interesting to reflect on the evolution of the industry in parallel to my own personal journey. A lot has changed between 20 years ago and today!