ITV kicks off major content delivery project
Michelle Clancy
| 13 September 2014
The UK’s leading commercial broadcaster, ITV, has embarked upon a content delivery modernisation (CDM) project.

The move supports the decision by all the UK broadcasters to move to exclusively file-based program exchange by 1 October.

ITV first created significant production improvements with its two major serial dramas - Coronation Street and Emmerdale. In 2012, production for the two soaps moved to HD, and as part of that process transitioned from tape to file-based production and post. ITV needed a means of taking the production file format (AVC-Intra) and converting it to the playout format (MPEG-2). The programmes also need to be available to viewers on a range of online and mobile platforms for catch-up viewing.

"As part of the evolving digital landscape, viewers want to access quality content using a variety of platforms and devices,” said David Hornsby, content delivery applications manager at ITV. “This presents great opportunities for ITV, and we are delighted to have achieved this milestone in our technology roadmap, which allows us to exploit our content across multiple delivery platforms and improve the viewing experience for our audiences."

To support the project, ITV is using two Vantage processor farms from Telestream at the heart of the file-based workflow. Initially, ITV established a small Vantage-based transcode farm as a trial project to do all the processing for ITV's two daily dramas. From that starting point, ITV has rapidly moved to a situation where it can process all catch-up content in house, supplied through Telestream's UK distributor, Boxer Systems.

"Today, every piece of ITV content on any catch-up platform is encoded in house using Vantage which has enabled our business to achieve significant efficiencies in the quality, speed and costs associated with delivering content,” said Hornsby.

"At Telestream, we believe that this project will prove to be an important milestone in the establishment of file-based workflows and especially DPP within the UK broadcast industry," said Paul Turner, vice president of enterprise product management at Telestream. "We see one of the country's largest broadcasters adopting new and radically different workflows, exploiting new distribution channels and potentially creating significant new revenue streams. We're delighted that Telestream and Vantage are at the heart of that development."