TV TECHNOLOGY:What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2016 NAB Show?
SRINIVASAN: The cloud will continue to be a hot topic at the 2016 NAB Show. In fact, the broadcast industry is starting to see the cloud as a scalable and viable technology to increase efficiencies, without having to bear a high CAPEX/OPEX, which they have been traditionally incurring. Going forward, broadcasters will look at the cloud for all their critical workflow components such as content preparation, storage, archival, playout, delivery, monetization, overall management and monitoring.
As consumers continue to demand a better quality television experience, we’ll also see heightened interest in 4K UHD at this year’s NAB Show. On the device side, we are seeing leading manufacturers offering UHD television screens, but there aren’t many 4K channels on air today. Broadcasters will be looking for technologies that enable them to playout and deliver 4K content. This is an industry trend we are responding to very aggressively at Amagi.
OTT is picking up steam and content owners, TV networks and broadcasters will make an aggressive move towards OTT. Key challenges on monetization of OTT feeds will be addressed this year and our launch of THUNDERSTORM for OTT targeted, dynamic ad insertion on the server side will help TV networks monetize their OTT feeds more effectively.
TVT:What will be your most important product news?
SRINIVASAN: Amagi will be showcasing its CUMULUS cloud broadcast platform, an end-to-end broadcast tool-chain on the cloud. The platform encompasses content preparation through third-party integration, storage, archival, playout and content delivery via cloud, satellite and OTT, as well as monetization of traditional TV and OTT multiscreen content.
As part of CUMULUS, Amagi will unveil CLOUDPORT 3.0, the latest version of its cloud-based playout platform that increases operational efficiency, scalability and cost savings for broadcasters. CLOUDPORT 3.0 enables TV networks to operate virtualized playout on the cloud, giving them greater flexibility and agility to spin new channels and create regional feeds instantly to keep pace with changing viewer dynamics and preferences.
CLOUDPORT 3.0 is IP-enabled, supports live broadcast, multi-feed monitoring and is 4K UHD compatible, meeting all of broadcasters’ key requirements for virtualized playout. The platform can also operate as an edge playout solution installed at operator headends. CLOUDPORT 3.0 will be available as Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) platform using Intelservers on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
We’ll also be launching THUNDERSTORM, a new ad insertion platform that simplifies the delivery of personalized and targeted advertising on premium live and linear OTT feeds. With THUNDERSTORM, TV networks can dynamically insert ads on the server side, as opposed to the traditional client side ad insertions that the industry is accustomed to. THUNDERSTORM’s server-side ad stitching is app-independent and platform agnostic. It completely bypasses client-side ad-blockers and allows TV networks and content owners control the entire ad experience. The platform uses Amagi’s patented content watermarking technology to identify replacement triggers and achieve frame-accurate ad splicing.
We’re encouraging content owners, TV networks and programmers to stop by the Amagi booth SU13006 at the 2016 NAB Show to see how these solutions will transform the distribution of their live, linear and nonlinear streams.
TVT: How is your new product different from what’s available on the market?
SRINIVASAN: While we see newer entrants in the cloud broadcast technology market Amagi is unique as it equips TV networks to transition to a cloud infrastructure to operate its entire workflow. Amagi is the only broadcast platform on the cloud addressing the entire broadcast tool chain. Amagi brings a wealth of partners to enable each of the workflow components, be it content preparation, storage, archival, playout, delivery and monetization on the cloud.
Amagi’s cloud playout is also a unique offering as it is “cloud-native” – built ground up for the cloud, unlike legacy playout solutions. We leverage the cloud’s elastic computation capability to provide a truly superior playout solution including advanced dynamic graphics (with Adobe After Effects templates), sophisticated digital video effects, deep integration with social media and integrated IP streaming. Built on public cloud architecture, Amagi allows dynamic playout instantiation and starting off new feeds in minutes.
TVT:What is it about the NAB Show that brings you back every year?
SRINIVASAN: NAB Show is one of the biggest and most followed events for the broadcast and media world. It gives decision-makers and practitioners here in the United States and across the world a perfect opportunity to experience, compare and evaluate the latest technologies.
In the past, we have seen that geographically distributed customer teams converge at the NAB Show to meet with our cloud experts. Normally, it would be very difficult to orchestrate such in-person interaction owing to time zones and distances. The NAB Show is a very convenient place to meet and engage with customers.
Further, the United States is a very attractive market for Amagi’s innovative cloud broadcast and advertising platforms. Our presence at the show over the last four years has helped us create more awareness and demand for our products. Therefore, we continue to stay invested in the show.