FEED issue 28 Web


Watching TV is not a green habit. And online TV is less Earth-friendly than old-school broadcasting. How do we make streaming sustainable?

igital technologies are generating an increasing amount of the world’s greenhouse gases, with much of

many of us are addicted to TV. Does Anevia really expect to change that? We don’t. We assume that it is easier to change ourselves than to change others, and that is what we have been focusing on: finding ways to reduce the environmental impact of our industry through resource optimisation. Our aim is to optimise storage efficiency and reduce bandwidth requirements by at least 30%. We are also striving to reduce the infrastructure cost by avoiding a multiple transcoding profile. And there is further potential to reduce the energy consumption in data centres by using artificial intelligence. PRIVATE CLOUD IS GREENER The world’s IT infrastructure is increasingly going cloud-based, with two models: public cloud and private cloud. And private cloud is ‘greener ’ for two reasons. First, because of proximity. In the public cloud model, data is hosted on servers that may be situated anywhere in the world. Every time someone accesses them, the data must travel from that server to the client’s location. In the private cloud model, data is hosted on servers that are generally much closer to the client, so there is less

this energy consumed by data centres and network infrastructures. And things are only set to get worse. The energy consumption of digital technology is increasing by as much as 9% per year, and a recent forecast by Ericsson Mobility Report estimated that video streaming will represent about 75% of annual mobile network traffic by 2024. That translates to 102 exabytes, or 102 billion gigabytes. But why does online TV viewing consume so much? Well, it is personalised, with each viewer getting a different video package based on what screen, operating systems and preferred resolution the viewer is using. Also because of new ways of consuming TV – including replay and time-shift. And partly because of better image quality – think Ultra-High Definition, High Dynamic Range and 4K. These three things combined mean we need more storage and more bandwidth – and so we produce more greenhouse gases. In an ideal world, we would all stop watching and go outside. Unfortunately,

DAMIEN LUCAS CTO and co-founder of Anevia explains how to make online TV as green as possible

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