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Future-proofing TV services with the agility and flexibility of the cloud

Authored by Inna Zagrebelny, Senior Manager, Product Marketing at Kaltura. The content and opinions in this post are those of the third-party author and AWS is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this post.

During the past few years there’s been an ongoing conversation in the media and entertainment industry about the multiple benefits of pay TV migration to the cloud. Here at Kaltura, in collaboration with AWS, we’ve been taking an active role in this transformation. As the shift in consumer behavior and market dynamics continuously accelerates, the agility and flexibility of the cloud are become even more crucial.

Expect the unexpected

People are working from home, traveling less, and consumers are adopting new habits. Since staying at home drives TV viewing up, the ability to scale up as the audience grows, and at the same time maintain the expected service availability, is essential. Unlike on-premises deployments that require pay TV operators to plan their capacity in advance, cloud-based infrastructures provide much needed flexibility. This is why we built the Kaltura TV Platform on AWS: to allow for virtually infinite scaling when it matters most. With video consumption at its peak, coupled with a growing number of concurrent viewers and viewership spikes, agile cloud-based platforms can provide the well-needed peace of mind for operators to ensure broadcast-grade availability by simply adjusting the required cloud resources to cope with fluctuating demand.

In addition, the agility of the cloud provides financial flexibility, which allows pay TV operators to save costs related to on-premises deployments and expand their businesses at their own pace. This enables operators to focus on business growth without being tied up with the return on investment of a heavy on-premises operation, especially when unexpected circumstances arise.

Go live, right on time

Typically launching live linear channels via traditional cable or satellite delivery methods involves expensive initial set-ups and complicated workflows, not to mention the human and time resources needed. On the other hand, the transition to the agile IP-based infrastructure streamlines operations and increases flexibility, while delivering the same broadcast-grade availability.

In order to provide cloud TV providers the agility and speed to adapt to current market dynamics, we included API integration with the AWS Media Services in our TV platform. This API integration provides highly scalable live media processing, origination, and just-in-time packaging to deliver uninterrupted high-quality Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) streams and pay TV-grade viewing experiences. Whether you are reporting the news, delivering live events, or simply looking to expand your content offering and reach new audiences, a cloud-based solution is a good fit for you. Kaltura TV Platform includes API integration with AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaPackage for live content, allowing fast and simple set-up of linear channels. This flexibility enables service providers to offer optimal live streams in a reliable and secure manner to the full range of viewing devices in a few clicks.

Mind the quality

The streaming video business is a crowded place with vibrant dynamics. Superb viewing experiences and uncompromised quality-of-service are mission critical for any service to stand out in the highly competitive marketplace. The combination of Kaltura TV Platform content management capabilities alongside AWS media processing is key for optimized delivery of high-quality video experiences to any user. Agile cloud-based encoding and packaging ensures service operators stay up-to-date with latest video codecs and innovations, are able to support any video format for any device, and simultaneously provide carrier-grade resilience.

Keep up with your audience

In a traditional pay TV industry, launching new channels or a new service offering usually takes a while. But it’s 2020 and everything happens faster. Viewers expect their media & entertainment services to enhance their content offerings and roll-out new and interactive experiences (almost) at the speed of light. By adopting cloud-based infrastructure, pay TV operators have the ability to accelerate their launch cycles and be far more agile when taking new services to market. Kaltura TV Platform operates under the ‘plug & play’ principle, allowing service providers to quickly build, test, and release new content and linear channels. It also enables them to experiment and determine which services or content assets are more engaging for the viewers while being flexible to refine their services accordingly.

More than smart, cognitive

The migration of control and video planes of the service to the cloud is no longer enough to keep the viewers happy. Service operators need to be able to tame the tremendous amounts of data their users are generating on their platforms, process it, extract valuable insights, and quickly adjust their offerings accordingly – all aimed at delivering the most personalized experiences. Adding an intelligent data layer to infuse AI capabilities into all aspects of the TV service is what can make “Cognitive TV” experiences a reality. TV services that are ‘conscious’ and capable of learning while dynamically adapting to user behavior are possible through the convergence of cloud TV with machine learning and AI. This will allow smarter data processing, real-time experimentation, and almost unlimited flexibility for meaningful personalization of any element of the TV experience, from UI through content and advertising. As Kaltura makes an early move to this Cognitive TV Era, our TV platform, enhanced by AWS machine learning and AI services, enables service operators to deliver tailored viewing experiences, based on user preferences, habits, time of day, or who is present in the room.

The key for future-proof services is the flexibility to adapt to continuously evolving media and entertainment landscapes, with the agility to enhance and perfect offerings with quick and simple technology implementation. Bringing together the robustness and scale of pay TV with the agility and speed of OTT, cloud TV platforms have become the ultimate solution for TV services that strive to succeed not only today, but also in the future. Kaltura TV Platform combines the best-of-breed of pay TV and OTT to deliver TV services for the world’s leading brands and powering over 50 million viewers across the globe.

Read the full Journey of TV to the Cloud solution brief to learn more about using Kaltura TV Platform, powered by AWS, to deliver compelling viewing experiences.