MONROE, La., April 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- This year, the international NAB Show in Las Vegas attracted more than 100,000 visitors from 160 countries to learn about and share key insights within the media and broadcast industry. Bill Wohnoutka, vice president of global internet and content delivery services for CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL), shares three important learnings from the event.
IP to transport media: Given the rising popularity of linear over-the-top (OTT) services, broadcasters and OTT providers are feeling pressure to deliver more local station content while maintaining high standards of quality. IP networking has become the go-to strategy to transport video content from local TV affiliates to end users. The current challenge is finding ways to use IP to enable simpler workflows while delivering the high level of reliability and quality viewers have come to expect. The consensus among leading industy influencers suggests there is room for improvement in this area. Many of the discussions at the show centered on the use of more robust public internet access providers and dedicated IP network solutions providers to transport the most important and highest value local content.
Cloud workflows: Perhaps the most popular topic for NAB attendees was ways to get production workflows in and out of the cloud. Three topic areas dominated the conversation. First, using the cloud for aggregation and live encoding of local, national and international linear channels as well as to support traditional channel playout automation for local broadcast. Second, the practice of moving applications to the cloud that were traditionally performed locally, such as blackout management, digital rights management and advertising insertion. Third, establishing "proofs of concept" and trials to determine if reliability and quality standards can be maintained in cloud environments, which traditionally support multi-tenancy and are not usually tailored to broadcaster requirements.
TV as a Service (TVaaS): TVaaS offers pay TV providers an alternative to the traditional approach of buying software licenses and hardware as well as hiring employees to operate the platform. NAB saw several providers with the capability to not only deliver TVaaS, but also eliminate capital refresh in traditional cable and IPTV headends. These solutions allow broadband ISPs to offer programming bundles to their customers, increasing the average revenue per customer and reducing the likelihood of customer churn. NAB revealed a considerable amount of innovation coming from next-gen TVaaS platforms, particularly their ability to offer true IP-enabled workflows. This includes support for inexpensive and highly popular commercial OTT set-top boxes, movement toward a high degree of operator customization, and roll-out of end-user features that mimic or rival features found on traditional pay TV operator platforms.
About CenturyLink CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is the second largest U.S. communications provider to global enterprise customers. With customers in more than 60 countries and an intense focus on the customer experience, CenturyLink strives to be the world's best networking company by solving customers' increased demand for reliable and secure connections. The company also serves as its customers' trusted partner, helping them manage increased network and IT complexity and providing managed network and cyber security solutions that help protect their business.