BROADCAST GOES BROWSER-BASED Cloud-centric live production has come of age. Is it ready to take over the big shows, too?
here are a multitude of products promising to help content companies in their migration to the cloud.
mainstay for Tier 1 broadcasters. One of the biggest tours in sport, the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals), is looking to see how deep they can go in the cloud. “The ATP want to explore what’s possible today,” says Kong. “They can see the gaps that need to be filled, and what the real speed of innovation is.” Openness and interoperability between disparate technologies is key. Cloud offers microservices architecture that allows multiple people to work on the same project simultaneously, easy integration with other tech, infinite scalability and geographically distributed participants. Grabyo has been built on AWS, and the cloud provider has become a valuable partner and resource. “While we’ve written a lot of the coding powering our platform, we also use as many AWS-managed services as possible. They have a very scalable, secure system, so why not capitalise on some of those technologies and stay focused on our core strengths?” Last year, AWS and the ATP invited cloud-based production companies for a tennis broadcast hackathon. This took place at the Paris Masters, and let vendors do an experimental ‘shadow production’ using the 15 camera feeds coming from the main event.
Finding which of those have simply stuck a cloud label on an old solution, versus those leveraging everything it has to offer, can be tricky. Grabyo’s live production and editing tools were developed and built entirely in the cloud, and have become the go-to for teams needing faster, more flexible broadcast solutions. The company’s three core products – Grabyo Producer, Grabyo Studio and Grabyo Editor – reimagine broadcast workflows in a cloud-native way. And this seems to be just the beginning of Grabyo’s expanding toolset. “When we started eight years ago, there was no easy way for digital teams to create clips out of broadcast TV feeds,” recalls Grabyo chief technology officer Mun Wai Kong. “They would have to wait for the programme to finish, transfer footage to edit suites, create a clip – then finally publish that to social media. This could take hours, if not days.” Initially created for producing digital content in time-sensitive sectors like sports and news, Grabyo’s browser- based clipping tool grew into a full suite of cloud services. Now, it’s a
“There were a lot of big vendors with their hardware out and physical switchers, and we rocked up with four laptops,” Kong laughs. “The feedback was pretty amazing. We could do pretty much everything those guys could do on hardware. It was really beneficial for the guys at ATP and AWS to see what’s possible. “It was also good for us to see what’s missing. What are the pain points keeping a major Tier 1 event from fully adopting the cloud? What do we need to work on?” Cloud appears ready to suit most everyday broadcast needs, but can it be leveraged for the biggest events in the world? These will require workflow of the highest quality – and failure is not an option. Kong thinks it’s just a matter of time. “Are we confident enough to deliver a Tier 1 Champions League final today? So many things still need to be enabled in the cloud for that to happen. But, the interest and appetite are definitely there. “We’re going full speed ahead to keep building on our platform and tools. The ultimate goal is to give broadcasters, producers and directors what they want.”
MATCH POINT Grabyo worked with AWS and the ATP at the Paris Masters
THERE WERE A LOT OF BIG VENDORS WITH THEIR HARDWARE OUT AND PHYSICAL SWITCHERS, AND WE ROCKEDUPWITH FOUR LAPTOPS
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