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Cloud becomes a broadcast celebrity

Australian broadcaster Network 10 is using cloud services to make its live video transport more efficient and cost-effective

Big broadcasters all over the world are embracing the cloud. Recently Network 10, one ofthe largest TV networks in Australia, selected AWS Media Services to support its video transport structure for remote production.

Network 10’s latest season of the global hit franchise I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, taking place in South Africa, utilises the newly adopted AWS Media Services tools to enhance livestreaming delivery of the celebrity action. Other Network 10 shows, including The Bachelor, Australian Survivor, and MasterChef Australia will be leveraging the technology as well.

Welcome to the jungle: Adam Beavis, commercial director for AWS in Australia and New Zealand and Jason Tuendemann, chief information and technology officer at Network 10

Network 10 is one of the first companies in Australia to use AWS Elemental MediaConnect, a cloud-based service for the high-quality transport of live video. The new technology enabled Network 10 to securely transport video from Kruger National Park in South Africa to its Sydney-based production studio for the 2019 season, and will be used again in the upcoming seventh season of the show.

“By working with AWS, we have been able to deliver more content and, more importantly, richer content for production and advertisers,” says Jason Tuendemann, chief information and technology officer at Network 10. “We are excited to be one of the first customers to use AWS Elemental MediaConnect in the Australian market.”

On previous seasons of I’m a Celebrity, the production team at the Network 10 studio in Sydney was unable to see the transmission go to air through traditional physical infrastructure, and had little confidence in specific timings for live broadcasts. By using AWS Elemental MediaConnect, Network 10 no longer has to rely on traditional transmission methods, such as satellite technology, which is more expensive. Previous solutions also did not offer the level of redundancy, quality, and resilience that Network 10 required for the I’m a Celebrity broadcast. 

Using a combination of AWS Elemental MediaConnect and AWS Advanced APN Technology Partner Aspera’s High Speed Transfer service, Network 10 reduced its production turnaround window from overnight to less than two hours, and in some cases, only a few minutes.

The Australian broadcasting industry is undergoing an incredible transformation using digital technology

This new collaboration will complement AWS Media Services already employed by Network 10, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaConvert. AWS Elemental MediaLive is a streaming tool that encodes live video for play on any device, from broadcast television to internet-connected devices such as mobile devices and connected TVs. With another tool, AWS Elemental MediaConvert, Network 10 can process video files and clips to prepare on-demand content for distribution or archiving. For the future, Network 10 will be looking to use AWS for delivering video services on-demand and with additional flexibility.

Network 10 started working with AWS in 2015 for projects where it needed the scale and reach of cloud to support the hosting and distribution of its content. The company also needed to deliver secure, reliable and scalable infrastructure for expanding its international footprint as it innovated and sought to improve customer experiences.

Since then, Network 10 has moved more workloads to the cloud, including Australian news site 10Daily and streaming service tenplay, and is using a suite of other AWS services including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon Relational Database Service, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Elasticsearch Service, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, and Amazon ElastiCache to store and process on-demand and archival footage. 

“The Australian broadcasting industry is undergoing an incredible transformation using digital technology,” says Adam Beavis, commercial director for AWS in Australia and New Zealand. “Network 10 was charged with delivering a high-quality stream of live video content at low cost – a task that AWS Elemental MediaConnect has made a reality.”

This article first appeared in the January 2020 issue of FEED magazine.

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