hours, or a specific type of application, then shut it down when you don’t need it any more. “In the world of live broadcast, most of the time the customer is only functioning at 70 to 80% of the capacity of the system. The remainder, which is used only rarely, is there to handle the peaks of demand. This flexible provisioning will allow them to make significant cost savings on infrastructure.” Selecting on-premises hardware to complement your cloud resources should be a central part of a broadcaster’s strategy. Sony’s MLS-X1 modular switcher, for example, allows for highly flexibile configuration that allows you to scale as needed. However, cloud brings with it other concerns that need to be addressed if large-scale hybrid workflows are to run seamlessly. “One of the fundamental challenges we face in this more cloud-centric vision is the cost of data transport, the security and the storage increase that can become a fairly costly exercise. One basic need is to reduce those expenses and provide a latency that makes it seem like you’re working with something that’s just around the corner.” The partnership with Nevion has provided Sony with firepower at the level of architecture, as well as R&D. Within the first year of the acquisition, Sony was already implementing Nevion codecs. GLASS TO CLOUD New ground and cloud workflows are further enablers of Sony’s capture and display technologies. Some brands try to boast glass-to-glass workflows, but Sony’s glass has been working at both ends of the workflow for decades.
“Until recently, acquisition tools were used like an edge device,” states Bovis. “You go to a location, bring back footage and ingest it somewhere else, then work with it. Or you may be able to stream with third-party products. Our basic idea is to go deeper and make the camcorder part of the cloud service.” Connecting cameras directly to the cloud makes footage instantly available to anyone. A Hong Kong team could access footage streamed into the cloud by a camera operator in Berlin, to be worked on even while the shoot is still ongoing. Faster networks will make working like this a no-brainer. Innovations like Sony’s QoS streaming technology and its trials in 5G slicing will make this connectivity faster and simpler. CONSUMER-PROFESSIONAL CONVERGENCE Just as technologies from disparate parts of the workflow are becoming interconnected, so are professional and consumer-grade technologies. In fact, the goal of being able to do professional broadcast workflows over the consumer-grade public internet has been a long-established goal of many media companies. Sony’s new FR7 PTZ camera, for example, brings PTZs into the world of high-end production with an E-mount interchangeable lens and full-frame sensor. More and more, tools that were once available only to high-end facilities can be accessed through a web browser by almost anyone, anywhere. Yet, considering the benefits of flexible ground- to-cloud workflows is an academic exercise if the economics don’t work out. And we are entering a very tricky time for businesses of all kinds. “There is the reality of the economics. It’s nice to dream that everybody will go remote through cloud. But, as we all know, everyone will go at a different pace with different requirements. “We must take into account the transition between the world of physical appliances and the world of nothing but cloud. There is a long journey between them, and we need to look at it both in terms of economics and functionality. That is part of what we are bringing with this hybrid vision.” Find out more on pro.sony/vision
IN THE WORLD OF LIVE BROADCAST, MOST OF THE TIME THE CUSTOMER IS ONLY FUNCTIONING AT 70 TO 80% CAPACITY
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