TVU Networks, the live broadcast innovation and technology leader, today announced their key insights from 2021. Based on an analysis of key measures and product usage from thousands of customers across all business sectors including media, sports, and entertainment, TVU Networks has seen a 243% increase in its SaaS over 2020.
The accelerated migration of the entire media supply chain to the cloud in 2021 was a massive shift industry-wide. Supply chain migration combined with the continued adoption of remote production workflows resulted in the immediate need for more cloud-native solutions. As a result, many broadcasters and production companies struggled greatly by attempting to duplicate terrestrial workflows in the cloud. TVU Networks customers did not. TVU Networks’ microservice-based cloud-native solutions are able to adapt to customer’s existing workflow and evolve as the process changes to perform better in a cloud environment.
“The impact of the pandemic on the media and entertainment industry cannot be overstated,” said Paul Shen, CEO, TVU Networks. “It necessitated an evolution that would have taken a far longer time, roughly five years in our estimation, under business-as-usual conditions. Customers are seeing first hand the advantages of adopting cloud-based solutions to enhance or replace their traditional broadcast workflows. As the cloud continues to disrupt production paradigms, the benefits are clear: lower cost, faster to air, increased flexibility, and greater monetization opportunities.”
Introduced in April, TVU Remote Commentator is a cloud-based solution that allows sports producers and event organizers to add synchronized, real-time audio commentary from any location with a commodity internet connection. Simply put, Remote Commentator allows multiple commentators in multiple places across the globe to call a single event in real-time with no lag or delay. All sessions are created and managed in the cloud. The cloud-native, pay-as-you-go TVU Channel allows anyone to launch and manage their own live and VOD content channels from a simple web browser without any infrastructure. TVU Channel supports SCTE ad insertion and major third party scheduling platforms as well as social media, CDN and OVP platforms.
“The overwhelmingly positive response to TVU Channel since its launch in October has exceeded our expectations,” added Shen. “We have a major TV broadcaster that’s deployed the platform and is using it for all programming on a new channel it launched, as well as the backup channel for their existing on premise channel to protect against any unexpected disruption. The platform is already supporting hundreds of thousands of viewers.”
The increased speed of availability of new solutions was a result of the company firmly adopting a development process before the pandemic that allowed for the rapid development, testing and rollout of customer requested features, products and services. Developing for the cloud provides a way to take creative, out-of-the-box ideas and create microservices and flexible workflows in a cost-effective manner.
2021 also saw IP network delivery solidify its place as the preferred content distribution method for the media and entertainment industry, with a 20 percent increase in usage of the TVU Grid IP-based video switching, routing and distribution solution this past year vs. 2020. Another historic event happened in 2021 – TVU successfully transmitted live 8K video over the 5G mmWave band during the Mobile World Congress held in Shanghai. TVU created a 5G-based private network in the cloud at the China Unicom booth with two, portable TVU 5G Rack Routers. Premier A/V supplier, Ibertelco, connected Portuguese telco, NOS, with TVU Networks to supply video-over-IP delivery solutions at the country’s first 5G–enabled stadiums – Estádio da Luz and Estádio José Alvalade. Several TVU One mobile transmitters, the TVU Anywhere mobile app, and TVU transceivers were used to deliver live 5G video from the pitch: during a Liga NOS match, as a roaming reporter covered the victory celebration, and to transport the holographic version of the winning team captain for a post-game interview.
Video usage experienced a meteoric rise as evidenced by media organizations using a TVU content distribution platform to manage and distribute their video content. Content creators helped propel a nearly 752% increase in hours of downloaded video in 2021, using AI and cloud based TVU Search. Search proved pivotal for finding live feeds for all major news events, such as: the Capitol Riot, the Impeachment Trial, the Summer Games in Tokyo, and the Dubai Expo 2020.
Remote production gained significant traction and is now seen as a solid and more cost-effective alternative to in-studio and on-location production. As broadcasters migrate rapidly to a remote production model, TVU has continued to roll out cloud native and SaaS-based live video solutions in 2021, including the launch of TVU Remote Commentator and TVU Channel. They join the current suite of remote production solutions such as TVU RPS. The company also saw strong traction in its transmitter business. France 2 and France 3 upgraded 15 of their TVU One mobile transmitters out of a 60-unit fleet. Its flagship TVU One with 5G transmitter and the company’s Media Services business were relied on to cover several major events, including live streaming from the Formula 1 São Paulo Grand Prix 2021 and the 2021 NFL Draft.
TVU Media Services experienced strong demand for its equipment rentals for major events, live content search and clipping platform and data services. Through its partnership with FedNet, broadcasters could access unique live video vantage points for streaming or story creation from the Capitol Riot and Impeachment Trial. TVU Media Services offered safe and extensive support for the Summer Games in Tokyo, including equipment rentals, 24/7 live camera shots from around the host city and sports venues, 5G with unlimited data and on-site technical support. Based on its experience supporting customers during a pandemic, TVU Media Services is being called on to provide an even higher level of service and availability for the upcoming Winter Games in China.
Established SaaS solutions such as TVU Producer for multi-camera live video production and graphic overlays and the TVU Partyline broadcast-quality live production collaboration platform have been in regular rotation for high-profile live events like the Summer Games in Tokyo, the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony, and the Critics Choice Awards. Since their introductions both solutions have enjoyed continuous updates based on continual customer feedback with nearly 50 production releases in 2021 Streaming Media