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Technology & engineering: Emmy awards celebrate cloud innovation

TV’s biggest trade body honours cloud pioneers for rethinking how we do TV

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) has been bestowing its Technology and Engineering Emmy® Awards for 71 years, honouring innovations in the broadcasting sector since the earliest days of television. 

Among the honorees for 2019 is a collection of companies being hailed for helping bring TV into the age of cloud. AWS, along with Discovery, Fox NE&O (Walt Disney Television), SDVI Corporation and Evertz Technologies have been recognised for “pioneering a public cloud-based linear media supply chain” for content ingest, management and delivery.

Media supply chain is the application of supply chain management principles to create, manage and deliver content and rich media experiences from content providers, creators and owners to consumers on the devices and platforms of their choice. Moving the media supply chain to the cloud improves economics, increases flexibility and helps media leaders meet viewers’ demand for reliable, high-quality video experiences at scale.

Until as recently as 2015, few broadcast tech vendors had a public cloud strategy. Around that time, both Discovery and Fox NE&O (Walt Disney Television) turned to SDVI Corporation and AWS. The result is that Discovery and Fox NE&O (Walt Disney Television) are now leveraging the cloud to meet customer demands by using a combination of the SDVI media supply chain platform; AWS compute, storage and media services; and Evertz linear, media asset management and content supply chain solutions. 

Discovery was the first major media company to move its entire media operation from production to distribution, into the AWS cloud

By moving their media supply chains to the AWS cloud and leveraging the innovation brought by SDVI and Evertz, Discovery and Fox NE&O (Walt Disney Television) have been able to automate and simplify the ingest of a high volume of file-based content and associated workflows, minimising processes that were manual or repetitive.

Discovery was the first major media company to move its entire media operation, from production to distribution, into the AWS cloud. With SDVI and AWS’ platform, Discovery reimagined all aspects of its media supply chain and operation. This allowed it to create an infrastructure for powering new viewer experiences. In fact, since the founding of its cloud supply chain in 2016, Discovery has received media assets from 1300 global suppliers, and has taken in more than 250,000 deliveries, with 114,000 coming in 2019.

With supply chain and content in the cloud also, Discovery is able to easily move its playout into the AWS cloud, which it has done using a combination of Evertz, AWS Media Services and internally developed tools. Going all-in with cloud and automated supply chain was key to Discovery’s ability to build products like Food Network Kitchen, a first of its kind view-and-do app, which the company successfully launched last year in just ten weeks due to the ability to scale out resources using AWS.

Fox NE&O (Walt Disney Television) migrated its media supply chain to the cloud to provision and scale resources automatically for linear broadcast and video on demand (VOD) content and to meet Walt Disney Television’s distribution demands. With the SDVI media supply chain platform, Walt Disney Television leverages an AWS-resident resource management system to share media processing workloads across the group’s existing facility and AWS to dynamically provision and scale resources. This allows Walt Disney Television to prepare and package all incoming media for multiplatform distribution and efficiently manage the infrastructure.

The Fox NE&O (Walt Disney Television) platform is being used by hundreds of internal and external users through a web-based, self-service interface. Walt Disney Television leverages this platform for traditional linear playout, VOD distribution, Digital MVPD distribution and syndication. The combination of SDVI, AWS and internally developed tools allows Walt Disney Television to harness additional innovations occurring in the cloud, including machine learning, dynamic content assembly, automated quality control, transcoding, built-in disaster recovery capabilities and dynamic resource provisioning.

The Tech and Engineering Emmy awards were originally to be bestowed at an industry gala, held in conjunction with the 2020 NAB Show in Las Vegas. The awards ceremony has now been moved to NAB New York in October.

Fox NE&O (Walt Disney Television) migrated its media supply chain to the cloud to provision and scale resources automatically for linear broadcast and video on demand (VOD) content and to meet Walt Disney Television’s distribution demands. With the SDVI media supply chain platform, Walt Disney Television leverages an AWS-resident resource management system to share media processing workloads across the group’s existing facility and AWS to dynamically provision and scale resources. This allows Walt Disney Television to prepare and package all incoming media for multiplatform distribution and efficiently manage the infrastructure.

The Fox NE&O (Walt Disney Television) platform is being used by hundreds of internal and external users through a web-based, self-service interface. Walt Disney Television leverages this platform for traditional linear playout, VOD distribution, Digital MVPD distribution and syndication. The combination of SDVI, AWS and internally developed tools allows Walt Disney Television to harness additional innovations occurring in the cloud, including machine learning, dynamic content assembly, automated quality control, transcoding, built-in disaster recovery capabilities and dynamic resource provisioning.

In keeping with past tradition, the Tech and Engineering Emmy awards are bestowed at an industry gala, held in conjunction with the 2020 NAB Show. 

This article first appeared in the March 2020 issue of FEED Magazine.