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Streaming Forum Preview: Enabling Freeview to Deliver OTT Services
Applying a "cloud thinking" approach to application design can radically optimise video workflow efficiencies, and can deliver OTT television as effectively as it can reach into mobile and web markets.
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I've presented and moderated at Streaming Media events for twelve years now, but for the most part have stayed away from presentations that have involved my own work outside of my writing for Streaming Media. This year, however, I'm delighted to have the opportunity to present a case study at this year's Streaming Forum on "Enabling Freeview to Deliver OTT Services," which looks at the work my company, id3as, has done with Arqiva to create a workflow to support OTT delivery via the Freeview service.

I'll be joined in the session by Arqiva head of technology and operations Osman Sen-Chadun and id3as director Dr. Adrian Roe. Sen-Chadun provided a lengthy breakdown of the project in an upcoiming article in Streaming Media magazine called "Around the World with Over the Top," and I'll let him describe the background here.

Arqiva provides mission-critical communications and media infrastructure, and so it is natural for us to be adapting our capabilities to help our many existing clients, who are at the very heart of the broadcast sector, to extend their reach into emerging digital TV markets—many of which are being delivered online or at least using IP.

We have a reputation among those clients for offering the very best operational supervision and continuity of service for their extremely valuable business. Venturing into the OTT space is not something we have undertaken lightly. For an industry used to ASICs and very high grade, tested appliances, considering "commodity servers" in our core has taken some cultural adjustment.

While the demand for TV Everywhere is growing rapidly we have had to ensure that we have sufficient control and resilience over the technology we operate for our clients. We guarantee to deliver the best possible service ourselves, and that the experience for our customers is consistent with the many other broadcast services which we already provide to them.

The multi-site private cloud model we have adopted gives us the ability to meet this level of operational oversight of the physical computers, but also to dynamically reallocate resource between the varied demands for the various tasks of encoding, transcoding, security and distribution (and so on).

id3as, our software partner, has provided a tailor-made technology stack, which is ideally suited to this dynamic OTT workflow, and integrates tightly with our wider working processes. This includes one of the widest device compatibilities of any comparable provider, and that is largely down to our ability to be flexible and add box-by-box support as new configurations come out – something that would be much more complex in our traditional environment.

This session will open the door to our architecture and show how "cloud thinking" in application design can radically optimise your workflow’s efficiencies, and can reach markets such as OTT television as effectively as it can reach into the mobile and web markets.

This will be a deeply technical session looking at private cloud delivery—when it is right and wrong to use cloud publically, privately or not at all. We will explore new applications architectures, we will discuss GPU vs CPU vs DSP encoding at scale, and we will focus on wider workflow integration and security.

And of course we will invite questions from the floor.

The 2014 Streaming Forum will be held at the Park Plaza Victoria in London on 24-25 June. "Case Study: Enabling Freeview to Deliver OTT Services" will be at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, 24 June.