Broadcasters Rethink Cloud With Hybrid Approach

Aug 18 2023

Published on TVNewscheck here

Leaders from NBCUniversal Local, Fox Television Stations, Sinclair, Imagine and Bitcentral told a TVNewsCheck webinar last week the industry conversation has shifted from “moving” to the cloud to leveraging its technology.

Published on TVNewscheck By Glen Dickson | August 17, 2023

As they upgrade their technical infrastructures for an IP world, broadcasters today are often looking to software-based systems that run on public cloud platforms to replace their legacy on-premise hardware. But they are also finding that the cloud may not be ready to handle all of their operations, particularly at the local station level.

A hybrid approach that combines on-prem hardware with cloud-based applications appears to be the best way forward.

Most broadcast operations are technically feasible to support in the cloud today, said cloud experts from major station groups and technology vendors who gathered last week for the TVNewsCheck webinar “Hybrid Cloud Strategies.” But that doesn’t mean it makes operational or financial sense to do so, particularly if a station is considering a “lift and shift” to the cloud of an operation currently performed on hardware without any fundamental change in the workflow.

New Life For On-Premise Hardware

Bitcentral provides software solutions for news production and master control workflows, using both on-premise and cloud compute. And Bitcentral COO Sam Peterson said his company is also seeing strong customer interest in hybrid solutions that combine on-premise hardware with cloud resources.

“It’s a both, it’s not an either/or,” Peterson said. “Almost every conversation today, it’s how do we use them together and use them effectively.”

Peterson doesn’t view customers’ change in mindset as a retreat from cloud technology. Instead, he thinks it reflects a more realistic assessment of a viable technology strategy going forward.

“For a long time, we were hearing people use the word ‘move,’ ‘I’m going to move to the cloud,’” Peterson said. “And I don’t hear ‘move to the cloud’ anymore. The term is we want to ‘leverage’ the cloud, we want to ‘use’ it. It doesn’t mean that everything necessarily wholesale is going to go to the cloud. For as long as there are transmitters, there is an endpoint that I’ve got to feed, and there are probably some local resources that I have to interface with. I think that is what got missed — there are pieces on the ground that we’re going to interface to. So, don’t forget about those.”


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