BT claims first as it takes ITV, Channel 4 Freeview channels to the cloud | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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In what is being described as a landmark move away from legacy hardware towards a smart broadcast network, ITV and Channel 4’s terrestrial Freeview channels have moved to cloud-based processing, as part of partnership between BT and D3&4.
BT International Media Centre 10March2023
The multi-million-pound contract will see cloud processing through BT Media and Broadcast’s new smart broadcast network, Vena, for regionalised TV content across all Freeview channels of D3&4, a joint venture company established by the two UK commercial broadcasters. BT has switched on start-to-finish cloud processing for regionalised TV content ready for distribution to 28 regions across the UK serving 18 million UK viewers.

BT notes that the benefits of processing digital terrestrial TV via the cloud include improving overall operational efficiency, cutting costs, lowering energy consumption, and enhancing flexibility for both production and distribution. It adds this is the first time that cloud processing of digital terrestrial TV channels has been completed on this scale.

Vena is designed to enable broadcasters to benefit from applications that sit on top of a high-grade software-defined media network. Processing Freeview channels through Vena is designed to simplify content production and distribution for the broadcast industry.

D3&4 is now using Vena to deliver digital coding and multiplexing, essentially combining multiple content streams into one before distribution regionally. This means taking content from six playout centres and distributing it to nations and regions across the UK securely and reliably, via two of BT’s resilient datacentres. In addition, BT is providing a full end-to-end, round-the-clock monitoring service from its international media operations centre.

The new network also uses virtualised software video processing and delivery solutions from Ateme which are designed to bring a new level of flexibility, evolving to meet future needs and offering built-in resilience.

“This launch marks a major development for the TV industry as a whole. It will offer more possibilities for broadcasters to connect and interact with their audiences. We have seen remarkable innovation and collaboration across BT, D3&4 and our partner Ateme to get to this point,” said Faisal Mahomed, director of BT Media and Broadcast & Portfolio Businesses. “The service, built on Vena, is only the start of what’s possible on BT’s smart broadcast network – as we continue to drive digitisation, and to innovate solutions to support TV delivery in the UK and across the globe.”

D3&4 managing director Greg Bensberg added: “Our partnership with BT has enabled us to take a giant leap forward in delivering Freeview TV for 18 million regular viewers across the UK. This was a challenging project that required meticulous planning and execution, and we're proud to have worked with a company that shares our passion for innovation and excellence. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with BT and driving the future of broadcasting in the UK.”