IBC MENA: IP-based video drives glass-to-glass broadcast

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 20 January 2015

The transformation of video to IP-based distribution is happening rapidly and the conversation is now focused on delivery models and new content models, said Steve Reynolds CTO Imagine Communications.

Kicking off IBC Content Everywhere MENA, Reynolds outlined a future where unicast was the fundamental element in the deliver and content models ensuring a one-to-one distribution paradigm equally beneficial to end users and businesses alike. Looking at the latter, Reynolds forecast that such a model would support gains in programmatic advertising and ad insertion, with the ability to have a direct end user connection, allowing real-time engagement with brands.

Reynolds argued that there were a number of things, in particular technical innovations, that were driving the market towards the point where IP distribution was inevitable. He pointed to a playout technology refresh cycle that is moving content distributors for the better and playout to IP distribution that was increasingly happening end-to-end in IP. "Playout is now glass-to-glass, from the camera to display and never going through the baseband phase [but instead] delivered as packets," he said.

Looking as to how this revolution would be achieved, Reynolds proposed that there were five key factors guaranteeing IP content distribution audience, end points, formats, distribution, business model plus three keys to IP content implementation, namely a flexible platform; adaptable business model; scalable operations. There were then four ways in which to get to this state: software defined infrastructure; multiplatform playout; virtualisation; IP-based distribution.

"You need to know not just who the audience is and who will be watching but also the end points and what will they watch on," Reynolds added when looking at the way in which IP-based video is implemented successfully. "You also have to figure out the right formats: long-form, short-form, serial what about binge viewing? You then need to know who are the right partners, network providers to team with for distribution and look to see how your business can you support [models such as] subscription and advertising model. Maybe you need to move to sponsorship or interactive advertising."