Digital Bulletin
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Digital Bulletin

How broadcasters can create next-gen viewing experiences

Edgecast’s Ariff Sidi reveals how broadcasters can create next-gen viewing experiences

Despite being at the centre of a lot of hype, edge computing isn’t a new technology. Its origins date back to the 1990s, where its primary purpose was to deliver web and video content from edge servers deployed closer to users instead of relying on distant locations.

Today, edge computing is revolutionising the handling, processing and transportation of data from millions of devices worldwide. The market for edge solutions is expected to reach $9 billion by 2024, according to data, from $2.8 billion in 2019.

The growth of edge computing has grown in line with the boom in IoT devices and new applications and services that require real-time computing power, such as self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Edge computing deployments already exist in multiple industries, such as manufacturing and healthcare. However, the media and entertainment industry has been slow to explore edge computing’s ability to transform how we watch and interact with content. Use cases for edge computing in the media and entertainment industry are becoming more apparent, empowering broadcasters to revolutionise the viewing experience by driving innovations across the media and entertainment ecosystem.

Unlocking the potential of edge computing

By processing and managing data, application requests and responses closer to the consumer, broadcasters can engage and interact with them as close to real-time as possible. However, it’s important to note that edge computing is not an alternative to the cloud, but it changes how we use it. Instead of collecting and analysing ever-expanding data streams, the cloud or corporate data centres can focus on processing information and data archiving, saving time, money and reducing pressure on the network.

The benefits for broadcasters

As the streaming market proliferates, broadcasters will be under more pressure to create innovative TV-like experiences. Edge computing will enable broadcasters to meet the rising demand for their services while ensuring consistent, high-quality streams regardless of the amount of data they are tasked with delivering. For broadcasters looking to reinvent viewing experiences, edge computing opens new product opportunities, including exciting, never before seen personalised interactive viewing experiences. In local markets where there are many subtle nuances, localised experiences could mean the difference for services struggling to be successful. Utilising computers at the CDN edge also requires less administration, allowing developers to deploy code with little infrastructure provisioning and reduced costs.

Ariff Sidi

In addition, enabling lower latency edge computing empowers content providers with shorter workload times, and localised workloads for specific users or clients. Workflows in live media entertainment are particularly latency-sensitive, so a reduction in latency to 200 milliseconds makes a significant difference. This reduction in latency means broadcasters can now rethink the viewing experience, especially for betting and live sports programming.

Edge computing allows broadcasters to send content into the cloud faster during live events and improves real-time engagement with users on any device or platform. Additionally, content creators can take advantage of edge resources to send content into the cloud faster for processing or transmission.

Providing next-generation viewing experiences

Despite the nascent adoption of edge computing solutions in the broadcast industry, the advantages for content providers are clear. Moving compute from cloud data centres closer to the network lowers operating costs, improves speed, and enables low-bandwidth operations, not to mention improving time to market. These advantages could also help tackle a variety of problems in IoT, healthcare, AI, and augmented reality — in fact, any industry or technology that demands real-time application requests, responses or data processing. Using edge computing to bring video capabilities closer to the end user will empower broadcasters to deliver next-generation viewing experiences.

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The fusion of the digital and the physical, the irrepressible rise of new technologies. These are seismic factors currently redefining our world, earning their own epochal moniker: The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Digital Bulletin exists to tell the story.

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