Virtualization and Cloudification of NextGen Broadcast Chain: Consequences and Opportunities

Date: May 13, 2020
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Abstract: ATSC 3.0 adoption is heralding major changes to the technologies typically used by broadcasters. Needless to say, the emerging systems landscape is a major upgrade from the current multi-decade old solution stack that broadcasters largely employ today to put out ATSC 1.0 services. The good news with 3.0 is that its launch coincides with major advances in IT systems technologies in general and path breaking progress in high performance computing applications in specific areas like AI and Data Science.The latest set of IT technology capabilities ranging from Cloud Computing, AI, Machine Learning, Deep learning as well as design and delivery methodologies such as an XaaS (everything as a service) as well as paradigm shifting IT system architectures like SDX (software defined everything) are capable of changing the broadcast back-office landscape like never before. Such change triggers new opportunities, reduces costs, and opens up new roles for broadcasters apart from facilitating the case for renewed relevance of broadcasting in today’s IP connected world. Furthermore, as the highest tech of computing capabilities are on offer today in a utility computing model in the form PaaS, SaaS and IaaS the broadcast industry to design their future systemsThis paper specifically looks deeper into the impact of XaaS and Cloud computing phenomenon in identifying consequential impact areas for broadcasting with the new capabilities desired in the context of rolling out successful ATSC 3.0 services. The paper then investigates further into the opportunities represented in the identified consequence areas specifically in the dimensions of creating enhanced new value chains or those that represent gross change in the cost economics between current way of doing things versus and the NextGen TV way. In total 5 major consequences are identified and addressed in detail, followed by describing 3 opportunities surrounding each of the consequence areas in this paper.By 2025, 75 Billion Active Connected devices are expected on this planet. These include Smart Personal Devices, Home TV’s, Connected Cars and IoT devices. The NextGen TV broadcaster of tomorrow has the potential to serve all of these devices with multicast services. However, a robust and flexible IT systems stack is essential to operate telco grade services. This in turn is predicated on applying best of IT practices and design principles in architecting the NextGen TV IT back office.The scope of this paper is restricted to consequences that serve or stimulate major economic synergies or those that significantly upend the current consumer experiences. Other equally important consequences in areas such as Security, Governance, Horizontal innovations from other industries causing vertical disruption of the NextGen TV broadcast industry need to be considered out of scope of this body of work.

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