Broadcasters such as Sinclair and Vice are increasingly shifting playout functions to cloud platforms, seeking more flexibility and agility there and testing the waters with disaster recovery strategies, OTT channels and diginets. “In the cloud, you can build up a whole separate system in parallel, test it, then cut over to it,” says one consultant.
The pandemic created an opportunity to stress-test distributed and virtualized workflows right now that stations and networks were already considering for the future. The industry’s shift may now be ahead of schedule because of it. Above, NBC Universal’s Boston Media Center is one of the latest all-IP broadcast facilities.
Discovery and ABC both rely on the cloud — one public, one private — to deliver their cable networks. Now broadcasters are looking at how the cloud can benefit not just distribution but also production, whether that means live news or sports coverage or post-production applications like editing.