Content production costs are rising, and the demands of distribution are increasing every month. In response, broadcast and cable are adapting to digital disruption in the same way as every other long-tenured business. Broadcast decision-makers want to ensure that they continually strike the right balance as technology and corporate priorities evolve. That is leading them to rethink the video headend. The video headend is the main core of video management, and it controls a variety of functionalities, including ingest, storage, management, and packaging.
Traditionally, this complex workflow required an equally complex array of specialized devices, daisy-chained together and controlled with a mix of analog and digital systems. Costs were high, management was difficult and hardware failure was an ever-present concern. Recently, however, software virtualization has made possible a revolution in video headend design.
Applying software solutions to the encoding, multiplexing and distribution of content makes it possible for the broadcast industry to grow its content delivery capacity without adding to costs for channel processing hardware and data center operations. This architecture offers the speed and efficiency to deliver broadcast content in real time, near real time and ondemand. Software virtualization is a big first step toward reigning in capital expenditures, improving processing efficiencies, and enabling process automation.