That's the increasing consensus amongst video broadcasters. Virtualised production and a transition to moving processes to the cloud will be a permanent 'new normal' for many providers.
We know, this doesn't sound revolutionary. Still, one thing the pandemic has confirmed for many VOD distributors is that virtual production is now in many ways a preferred choice for several reasons. For an industry that has shown some resistance to using cloud workflows over local compute, the pandemic has forced a shift in mindset to using cloud services, leading to a more significant attraction to its use for virtualised production permanently.
In fact, it hasn't solely been the pandemic encouraging this shift. Since the rise of OTT video broadcasting is only ever-increasing, and linear TV broadcasters adapt to keep up, the voyage to virtual was initiated long before the pandemic. It is quite clear, too, that the trend will only continue.
So, as the cloud becomes an increasingly critical part of video delivery, then how quickly you can access + distribute your assets to and from the cloud becomes fundamental.
For virtualised production to become a reality, having a direct connection to your cloud is a perfect place to start. This is also referred to as 'direct connect' or establishing a private route or connection to your cloud service.
Let us turn our attention to the 'first mile'. This consists of getting your video content into the cloud in the first place, which is pretty fundamental. Once you have it in there, there are almost unlimited possibilities in how you can develop and augment your content before you focus on the renowned last mile to the audience. A direct connection to your cloud will make the first mile more secure, efficient, cost-effective and reliable.
We break these down below:
Broadcasters have long shown resistance to moving to cloud solutions because of security concerns. Many linear broadcasters have been living in a culture of having hands-on, human control on core content and customer data, in-house. Yet, as more broadcasters move to the cloud, and the number of OTT providers rise, cloud solutions have proved time and time again to be not only secure enough but more secure than traditional methods in the video industry.
We know that it is safe sitting in the cloud, but how secure is your data on its journey toward it in this first mile? This does pose some security risks, and it is understandable video broadcasters have shown some reluctancy here.
Using a private connection overcomes the risk of a data breach or cyber attack because you have entirely bypassed insecure public internet networks. Instead, your video content and data is transferred via private, encrypted and monitored network connections.
In the unlikely event of your private connection being attacked, you can identify and fix any breach or issue with far higher speed and certainty than you can when dealing with the public internet. Having a fully managed service, which proactively monitors and maintains your private connection, would further remove the burden from you.
An indirect or public internet connection is mostly outside of your control. You can never determine when an outage is likely to happen and for how long it will last. With a private network, you are no longer at the mercy of unpredictable public connectivity and have full control and sight on how your network is performing.
You will have far better reliability over bandwidth and latency. Since your network is private, it will not be fighting for bandwidth with any other connections. The risk and worry of, say, an unexpected live streaming interruption, is now averted. When speed and time is everything in video consumption, especially in live video, you cannot afford any uncertainty over how effectively your content will transfer. Instead of pre-testing public internet repeatedly, costing you valuable time and resulting in only a snap-shot in time, a private connection (or connections) assures you of a reliable and high performing connection to the standard you need consistently.
Another concern with using the public internet to transfer your data also relates to its unpredictability. The unpredictability that comes with which routes are taken across the public internet. If there is heavy congestion, re-routing costs time and money. This can result in service degradation, disgruntled users and potentially translate into lost revenue.
A direct connection gives IT and network managers full control over which hops their data traverses. Critical data won't travel in between multiple unnecessary hops to reach your cloud environment. The entire process is more seamless, and the user experience is elevated, boosting efficiency and productivity.
The opportunities available for video content producers to embrace with virtualised production are almost unlimited. It offers broadcasters far higher scalability, freedom in innovation, personalised user experiences, efficiency in workflows, and a whole lot more. To fully realise all of these new and growing opportunities in virtual production, however, is to assure a secure and speedy connection to your virtual centre.
There is more information on methods to directly connect to your cloud here.
Alternatively, feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions or comments.